The Indian challenge at the World Wrestling Championships which is scheduled to start on September 14 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan will be led by Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat.
India have sent 30 wrestlers to the championships in their quest of winning medals and Olympic quotas ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Sushil Kumar will also feature in the event as he comes back to the championship after a gap of eight years and he will be eager to prove his worth in the games this time around.
All eyes will be on the two-time Olympic medallist and the only Indian men's wrestler to win a world title in men's freestyle. He needs to prove his claim that he is not yet finished.
The 25-year-old Punia who has been in major form in the recent past is India's trump card to win a medal at the prestigious event. He has won all the four events that he has contested this season which includes Dan Kolov, Asian Championship Ali Aliev and Yasar Dogu.
The 25-year-old is also the current world number one and the top-seeded wrestler in the 65kg category. The wrestler will get to test himself before the Olympics. To win a gold at the Worlds will not be an easy task for Punia as he has Russian Gadzhimurad Rashidov and Bahrain's Haji Mohammed Ali in his category.
On the other hand, Vinesh Phogat who is another medal hope for India had a decent season also as she reached the finals of five events winning three of them. But as she moved up from 50kg to 53kg category it took her some time to settle down.
She can be the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold at the championships as she has got that ability but her journey will not be that easy.
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik has also been struggling after she won the Commonwealth Championship in 2017. She has not been able to handle the pressure which has turned out to be a big setback for the 27-year-old wrestler and her best performance this season was reaching the final at Dan Kolov.
Divya Kakran has been in decent form this season. She will go into the championships after winning two golds and two bronzes and will also carry India's quest for medals. Teenager Deepak Punia is a dark horse for India at the championships after he became the first Indian junior World Champion.
The World Wrestling Championships will start on September 14 and will continue till September 22 from 10.30 AM onwards.
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