Haryana bank on World cadet champions Anshu and Sonam; Maharashtra girls aim to improve on 2018 performance

Anshu in action at Khelo India School Games 2018

With international players like world cadet champions Anshu and Sonam in the fray, wrestling powerhouse Haryana will be looking to continue their domination at the Khelo India Youth Games, starting at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex here from Wednesday.

Last year, Haryana had won a 11 gold medals, out of which eight came from the girls’ category. Maharashtra manged just one gold but finished second overall with seven medals.

Nidani (Jind) wrestler Anshu (U-21) became world cadet champion at Athens in 2017 and continued her medal spree by winning the Asian Cadet championship in Uzbekistan in May and a bronze at the Junior World in Slovakia in September 2018. 

She will be participating in the 62kg category while Sonam, a 16-year-old from Madina village in Sonepat will be another attraction in the Under-17 65kg category. Sonam won the 56kg world cadet championship and has continued to win medals at the National School Games and Khelo India.

“Of course, Haryana wrestlers are a tough nut to crack but our top wrestlers like Bhagyashri Fand and Supriya Mishra have a good chance for a podium finish,” said Maharashtra’s Under-17 girls’ team coach Shabnam Shaikh.

Ahmednagar wrestler Bhagyashri (53kg) was a gold medallist at the school nationals and Khelo India last year and is expected to repeat her performance, even though she will be participating in a higher weight category (57kg).

Among the boys’, Haryana will have an upper hand with cadet Asian gold medallist Akash Dahiya (61kg) and Praveen Malik in the 74kg category.

Today’s schedule (January 9; Wednesday)

Weigh in and medical: 8am

Qualification round: 10am

Main draw: 4pm onwards

Finals: 5pm onwards

Events: U-17 Greco Roman: 51, 55, 60, 65, 71, 80 and 92

U-21 Greco Roman: 55, 60 and 67.