Ravinder Khatri, one of the two greco-roman wrestlers from India to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympics, could not make use of the event to make a mark as he was convincingly beaten in the round of 16 by Hungary's Viktor Lorincz on Monday. Hardeep Singh, the other greco-roman wrestler from the country, gets into action on Tuesday at the Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro.
Hardeep, 26, a silver medallist at the 2016 Asian wrestling championships in Bangkok, takes on experienced Turkish wrestler Cenk Ildem in the 98kg category division of the event. Catch the report here.
Yogeshwar Dutt, Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav are veteran freestyle wrestlers in India but there is not a single greco-roman wrestler from the country who we can look up to. Hardeep, for one, can turn out to be the inspiration the country needs to give greco-roman wrestling equal importance.
Having taken up wrestling right from his school days, the Haryana wrestler will be keen on using his experience and persistence to make a mark on the grandest stage of all, where Indian wrestlers are being featured in a greco-roman event after 12 years.
"The best Greco-Roman wrestlers come from Europe. I believe I need to pummel them in order to make a mark in Rio," Hardeep told News18 before heading to Rio for the games. "It [The style of wrestling] requires more strength and stamina than freestyle, which is more liberal sort of wrestling. Since it's difficult to maintain hold on rival's body, especially when the opponent is also attacking you, it becomes very difficult to score," he explained.
Hardeep's opponent Ildem is not an easy nut to crack by any means as the 30-year-old is a winner of several medals both in the junior and the senior level, the latest being a bronze medal at the European Wrestling Championships 2015 in Riga, Latvia.
The competition is no doubt tough, however, we would definitely be keen on seeing Hardeep put up a dominating performance in his maiden Olympics wrestling bout.
Men's 98 kg greco-roman wrestling: Cenk Ildem (Turkey) vs Hardeep Singh (India) is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. IST (2:30 p.m. BST, 9:30 a.m. EST) on Aug. 16.
Where to watch live
India: TV: Star Sports Network, DD National. Live streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four. Live streaming: BBC Red Button.
USA: TV: NBC Sports. Live streaming: NBC Olympics.