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Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: Jul 7, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)

State wrestlers make a mark in Cadet World Championships

Ravinder, Aman, Sonam win bronze; Meenakshi assured of silver
State wrestlers make a mark in  Cadet World Championships
Haryana wrestler Anshu Malik

Gaurav Kanthwal

Cadet wrestlers (16-17 years) of Haryana are showing their mettle in the ongoing Cadet World Championships (July 2-8) in Zagreb, Croatia.

The young wrestlers from the state have won two bronze medals — Ravinder (60 kg) and Aman (51 kg) — in the men's section, while female wrestlers have won one bronze medal in the championship so far. Meenakshi has assured herself of at least the silver medal by making it to the 53 kg final bout while Anshu Malik is in contention for the bronze medal in the 61 kg category. 

Ravinder defeated Jafarov Sabir of Ajerbaijan 6-0 in the semifinal bout to finish third in his weight category. He had earlier won the gold medal in the 2018 Asian Cadet Wrestling Championships. Aman lost to Uzun Adem of Turkey 4-9 in the semifinal bout to settle for the bronze medal. 

In the women’s section, Sonam Malik (65 kg) blanked Abdirasulova Rushana of Uzbekistan 11-0 in the repechage round to win the bronze medal. The 16-year-old from Madina village in Sonepat lost to Nakai Honoka of Japan in the quarterfinals 1-5. The Class XI student of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Institute, Madina, had bagged the gold medal in the 56 kg category at the 2017 Cadet World  Championships in Athens.

Anshu made it to the bronze medal play-off after losing to Zhao Qin of China 4-5 in the quarterfinals. Another Nidani girl, Meenakshi, has assured herself of the silver medal by making it to the 53 kg final beating Castro Leilah Renae of the USA 2-2. Meenakshi was declared winner in their semifinal bout as she scored the last point of the bout. Anshu and Meenakshi are both Class XII students of Bharat Singh Memorial Sports School, Nidani. The duo is tipped to be the brightest wrestlers in their age group in the country. In May, Anshu won the gold medal, while Meenakshi won the bronze medal in the Asian Cadet Wrestling Championships in Uzbekistan. Principal Rajwanti Malik says, “It is a proud moment for the state and the school that two of its students have reached the podium in an international competition”.

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh wrestler Gourav Baliyan (71 kg) won the silver medal in a thrilling fashion. Baliyan was tipped to be a strong candidate for the gold medal but he lost to Gagnidze Bagrati of Georgia 6-6. Baliyan was leading 2-6 till the last 15 seconds of the bout but Bagrati, a Cadet European champion, scored four points on two attempted throws in the dying minutes of the bout to win the 71 kg world title. Since the score was tied 6-6, Bagrati won the bout on the basis of the last point scored. Gourav reached the final after defeating Alexander Joseph Facundo of the USA in the semifinal bout (6-5). “It (final) was a tough bout. My opponent was a good wrestler and kept me guessing till the end. Unfortunately, I could not keep my nerves calm in the end. I am still happy with my silver medal. I will try to learn from my mistakes and try to win the gold medal next time,” Gourav said from Zagreb. 

Iran took the top spot with three gold medals in the team rankings. The USA finished second and Russia finished third. India scored 74 points to finish eighth in the freestyle events. 

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