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Wrestling

Suraj Vashisht becomes India's first Greco-Roman U17 world champion in 32 years

Suraj beat European champion Faraim Mustafayev 11-0 to win the 55kg title at the U17 World Championships in Rome. This is India's first gold in Greco-Roman wrestling since 1990.

Suraj Vashisht becomes Indias first Greco-Roman U17 world champion in 32 years
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Suraj won India's only third Greco-Roman gold at the U17 Worlds and fourth at all World Championships combined. (Twitter/UWW)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 July 2022 6:20 AM GMT

Suraj Vashisht won India's first Greco-Roman gold medal at the U17 World Championships since 1990 in Rome on Tuesday night.

The 16-year-old hailing from Rithal village, Rohtak in Haryana told UWW after his historic win. "I have dreams to become the best in my weight class. Obviously a senior world title is a dream as well."

India have never won a senior gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the World Championships. In history, this is the fourth gold medal the country's wrestlers have won in junior age categories.

Pappu Yadav (gold in U17 Worlds in 1990 as well as in U20 Worlds in 1992) and Vinod Kumar (gold in U17 Worlds in 1980) are the only other Greco-Roman wrestlers to have won the ultimate prize at this event.

"These wrestlers get tired very easily while I keep going for attacks and keep pushing. That helps because then you know that your opponent doesn't have much power," said Suraj.

In the final, the 16-year-old decimated his opponent with two big four-point throws after the break. The Azerbaijan wrestler conceded a point for being passive in the first period. After the break, the Indian pulled off two takedowns to pull off a comprehensive 11-0 win.

Ronit Sharma (48 kg, silver) and Manish (51kg, bronze) were the two other Greco-Roman medallists for India at this tournament.

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