Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Junior Asian Championship gold medallist Sharvan was seeded second in 65kg category as he opens India’s campaign at the Under-23 World Wrestleing Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Sharvan, however has a very tough opponent to tackle as he will face the top seed Rifat Saibotalov of Kazakhstan for a place in the quarter-finals.
Besides Sharvan, , Akash Antil is the only other Indian wrestler who starts in the pre-quarter-finals after having been seeded ninth in 97kg. For a last-eight berth, he will have to get the better of 10th seed Xu Li of China.
Three more Indians will be in action in the qualifiers on the first day of the championships. In 57kg, 15th seeded Naveen meets the 16th seeded Ahmet Duman of Turkey while his namesake in 70kg also seeded 15th, takes on Russia’s 16th seed Chermen Valiev. Former World Junior World Championships bronze medallist Veer Dev Gulia, seeded 18th, has Hungary’s 17th seed Botond Lukacs first up.
India will be hoping to improve their performance from the last edition where Ravi Kumar Dahiya won the silver medal in 57kg after the boys’ team and the girls’ team underwent 15 days of rigorous training at Sonipat and Lucknow respectively before leaving for Budapest.
More than 60 teams and 600 Under-23 wrestlers will be seen in action from all around the globe. The championship will be underway with Men’s freestyle competition on the first two days followed by Women’s Wrestling, with the Greco Roman competition scheduled on the final three days.