Indian wrestlers have proved to be a big success when it comes to Commonwealth games. At Glasgow, India grabbed five gold, four silver and two bronze. Some of the prominent young wrestlers such as Sushil, Yogeshwar and Amit Dahiya and Babita, Vinesh in women’s category got gold for India. This time around, India could get a tough time against Canada in men and women of Nigeria, as this has happened in the past. According to the recent updates, Nigerian player’s relations with their federation are not going smooth because of some price money issues. If the players boycott their participation in upcoming CWG, it might set an advantage especially for our Indian Female wrestlers.
All eyes will be on former two time gold medal winner Sushil Kumar. He seems to be looking fit and confident with his latest wins in nationals and CWG championship after his comeback.It would be a great achievement if he could bag a gold as this will be his third gold in CWG, a feat no other wrestler has done. The record holder for the best performance till now is Sudesh who has two gold and a silver to his name. Sushil is expected to have some easy wins against wrestlers like Jevan Balfour, a 65 kg silver medalist in CWG form Canada and Australia’s Connor Evans. Connor has won a bronze medal in the last CWG. In the same category, there will be New Zealand’s Aakash Khullar who will not be a serious threat to Sushil as he lost to the Indian ace in the last Commonwealth Championship.
Apart from Sushil, Babita is the only wrestler who will be participating in her third CWG. Earlier she has won a silver in 2010 Delhi and gold in Glasgow 2014. She is the only wrestler to have won two medals in CWG. She represented U.P. Warrior and U.P. Dangal in the 1st and the 2nd season of the PWL. Her tremendous performance in the trials silenced all her critics. If Nigeria takes part, Babita could find a tough opponent in Bose Samuel, a silver medalist in the African Championship.
All eyes will be set on Babita’s cousin Vinesh Phogat who is expected to come up with a good show. Vinesh has clinched a gold in the previous CWG and is a silver medalist of Asian Championship as well. It may also be mentioned here that Vinesh was undefeated in PWL season 1 and was an Icon player of U.P Dangal in the 3rd season of PWL. She is expected to get a tough fight from Canada’s Jessca MacDonald, who is a former world champion.
Some of her high intensity bouts with Babita Kumari has grabbed a lot of attention among the wrestling fans across the world. Last year, she has won a gold in the German, Spain Grand Prix and Pan American Championship as well which stated her good form. Her age can be an issue for her.
The situation of Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik is the same as they both have grabbed silver in CWG. Since then, Sakshi has won a bronze in Olympics and has won a silver and a bronze in Asian Championship. In Bajrang’s case he has won a gold in Asian championship, Asian indoor games and a silver in world under 23 Championship last year.
On the other hand, Sakshi, can expect a tough fight from the World championship bronze medalist Michell Fazzari of Canada and with New Zealand and Nigerian participation she could get a face off with Aminat Adeniyi from whom she got defeated with a humiliating score of 0-10 in the last CWG.