Pune, Jan 13 (IANS) With 24 gold medals, 16 silver and 18 bronze in the wrestling events, at the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG), Haryana has once again reiterated their position as the premier wrestling powerhouse of the country.
Haryana crossed the half century mark in wrestling alone leaving other states way behind. Maharashtra finished second. Such was Haryana’s dominance that they won more gold medals than all other states put together.
Though Delhi boys showed impressive performance on the first day in the Greco Roman category, winning nine medals including five gold medals, they failed to maintain the momentum and the winning streak and added just one gold medal later on.
Asked about the success story of Haryana in wrestling their coach Rajveer said: “Wrestling has always been an integral part of Haryana. Almost every household in rural areas have at least one wrestler, who gets enrolled in nearby akhara and after years of hardwork and training, starts earning money in cash prize tournaments.”
“What the state did was that they identified the talent in rural areas and gave them modern training, nutrition and exposure to various tournaments,” he added.
From Maharashtra, Under-17 80kg freestyle wrestler Vetal Shelke was quite impressive. A ward of Arjuna awardee Kaka Pawar he grabbed the gold medal.
In the 71kg category, Kalicharan Solankar was praised for his efforts in beating Haryana’s international wrestler Ankit 12-1 in the initial rounds. Though Kalicharan only managed to win a bronze medal in his category, he certainly has raised expectations.
Haryana’s dominance extends to women’s section too as the state bagged 12 of the 14 gold medals.