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Asian Games

India Wrestling squad at Asian Games 2023: Full team, Schedule, Medal chances

Indian Wrestlers at 2023 Asian Games: Can Antim Panghal shine in the absence of Vinesh Phogat? Can Bajrang Punia repeat his 2018 heroics?

India Wrestling squad at Asian Games 2023: Full team, Schedule, Medal chances
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By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 Oct 2023 4:48 PM GMT

India's second most successful sport at Asian Games, Wrestling is in a sorry state of affairs at the moment. The Wrestling Federation of India was banned in August by United World Wrestling for administrative issues.

Earlier in April, Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and many others started a protest against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on the grounds of sexual harassment.

Once the protest ended, the drama surrounding the trials and direct selection of Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia started. After a chaos of two weeks, the Indian squad was selected for the Asian Games.

Bajrang Punia, Aman Sehrawat, and Antim Panghal will be headlining the Indian squad and will face tough competition from the likes of Iran, Japan, and Kazakhstan.

India Wrestling Squad at Asian Games 2023

Women’s Freestyle: Pooja Gehlot (50kg), Antim Panghal (53kg), Manshi (57kg), Sonam Malik (62kg), Radhika (68kg), Kiran (76kg)

Men’s Freestyle: Aman Sehrawat (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Yash (74kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Vicky (97kg), Sumit (125kg)

Men’s Greco-Roman: Gyanendra (60kg), Neeraj (67kg), Vikash (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Narender Cheema (97kg), Naveen (130kg)

Wrestling Schedule at Asian Games 2023

Wednesday, 4 October

Men's Greco Roman- Gyanendra (60kg), Neeraj (67kg), Vikash (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg)- Qualification (07:30 am to 10:45 am IST)

Final- 2:30 pm to 6 pm IST

Thursday, 5 October

Men's Greco Roman- Narender Cheema (97kg), Naveen (130kg)- Qualification (07:30 am to 10:45 am IST)

Final- 2:30 pm to 6 pm IST

Women's Freestyle: Pooja Gehlot (50kg), Antim Panghal (53kg), Manshi (57kg)- Qualification (07:30 am to 10:45 am IST)

Final- 2:30 pm to 6 pm IST

Friday, 6 October

Women's Freestyle: Sonam Malik (62kg), Radhika (68kg), Kiran (76kg)- Qualification (07:30 am to 10:45 am IST)

Final- 2:30 pm to 6 pm IST

Men's Freestyle: Aman Sehrawat (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg)- Qualification and Final (07:30 am to 10:45 am IST)

Final- 2:30 pm to 6 pm IST

Saturday, 7 October

Men's Freestyle: Yash (74kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Vicky (97kg), Sumit (125kg)- Qualification (07:30 am to 10:45 am IST)

Final: 2:30 pm to 6 pm IST

Medal Chances in Wrestling at Asian Games 2023

Wrestling has been one of the most talked about sports in 2023 but mostly for off-the-mat controversies and antics. India is sending a fairly young squad across categories.

Bajrang Punia- Men's Freestyle 65kg

One of the leading faces of the sit-in wrestler protesting against former WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Bajrang Punia is one of the most decorated names in Indian wrestling. Defending champion in 65kg, Bajrang has not featured in any tournament in 2023 and is lacking serious match practice.

Bajrang will have to overcome World Champion Rahman Amouzad of Iran in his pursuit of a title defence. Given that nobody has seen Bajrang wrestling in 2023, it can go either way to a medal-winning performance or a first-round exit.

Aman Sehrawat- Men's Freestyle 57kg

The current Asian champion in 57kg, Aman Sehrawat has made waves with his recent performance. He defeated the World number in the 57kg category, Wanhou Zou of China to claim the Asian wrestling championships gold medal.

Aman will have to overcome Zou and 2022 World Championships bronze medalist Zanabazar Zandanbud in his pursuit of a potential gold medal.

Antim Panghal- Women's Freestyle 53kg

Two times U-20 World Champion and Asian wrestling championships silver medalist, Antim Panghal is touted as the successor to Vinesh Phogat in women's wrestling.

The drama surrounding the wrestling trials for the Asian Games saw Antim move to court against the direct selection of Vinesh Phogat. However, stars aligned for Antim after Vinesh pulled out of the Asian Games due to surgery.

In pursuit of a potential gold medal at the Asiads, Antim will have to overcome 19-year-old Akari Fujinami of Japan. Fujinami defeated Antim in the final of the 2023 Asian wrestling championships earlier in April.

Performance at the 2018 Asian Games

India had a mixed campaign at the 2018 Asian Games with three medals- two gold and one bronze. Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Vinesh Phogat (50kg) won their first-ever Asian Games gold.

Divya Kakran was the other medalist winning bronze in 68kg.

Two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar lost in the first round of 74kg and Pooja Dhanda and Sakshi Malik missed on bronze medal.

India at Asian Games: Wrestling Records

Wrestling is the second most successful sport for India at the Asian Games after Athletics. India has won a total of 59 medals including 11 gold, 14 silver, and 34 bronze.

The 1962 Asian Games was India's best wrestling performance with 12 medals including three gold, six silver, and three bronze.

Vinesh Phogat is the most successful women's wrestler with one gold and one bronze medal while Kartar Singh takes that spot in the men's category with two gold and one silver medal.

Asiad Gold Medalists: Malwa Singh (52kg freestyle- 1962), Maruti Mane (97kg freestyle-1962), Ganpat Adalkar (+97kg Greco Roman-1962), Chandgi Ram (+100kg freestyle- 1970), Rajinder Singh (74kg freestyle- 1978), Kartar Singh (90kg freestyle- 1978), Satpal Singh (+100kg freestyle- 1982), Kartar Singh (+100kg freestyle- 1986), Yogeshwar Dutt(65kg freestyle- 2014), Bajrang Punia (65kg freestyle- 2018), Vinesh Phogat (50kg freestyle-2018)

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