The Indian contingent for Men's and Women’s category for the 2019 South Asian Games (SAG) was declared by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) as the gold medallists at the recently-concluded Tata Motors Senior Wrestling National Championships in Jalandhar were inducted in the squad.
The seven-member Men’s and Women’s contingent will be led by Olympics medalist Sakshi Malik and U-23 World Championship silver medalist Ravinder at the championships to be held from December 6-9 in Nepal.
While Sakshi (62Kg) is an established name in the women’s category, the squad also has some of the most promising talents in Sheetal (50Kg), Pinky (53Kg), Sarita (57kg), and Anshu (59Kg). Thirty-five-year-old Gursharan Kaur from Punjab (76kg) and Anita Sheoran from Haryana (68kg), meanwhile, will be donning the Indian colours after almost a decade.
“The players have been chosen after an extremely competitive competition from the National platform and I am confident that the players will maintain the supremacy and defend their 2016 titles in both the Men and Women’s Category at the South Asian Games,” said Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, the president of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
A sub-inspector with Punjab Police, Gursharan is making a comeback to the Indian team after seven years. While adversities, hardships and legal battles against her in-laws have been testing her time and again, Gursharan’s undaunting spirit ensured her a convincing win at the Nationals and an Indian team berth. The Punjab grappler is aiming to restore her playing career and is all set for the South Asian Games challenge.
“This is a huge opportunity for me and I am confident of a good show. My mainstay is my mid-weight grip which I use to defend and attack. While doing well in SAF Games will be important, my goal is to work hard and win an Olympic quota at the Asian Championships early next year," she said.
A gold medalist in the 2016 edition, Ravinder (61Kg) will lead the charge of the Men’s team along with experienced campaigners and Commonwealth Games gold medalists Pawan Kumar (86kg) and Satyavart Kadian (97kg). The other squad members are Rahul (57Kg) and Amit (65Kg) from Delhi and Jharkhand, respectively, along with Sumit (125kg).