Haryana girls make a clean sweep in wrestling; grab seven gold

Haryana underlined their supremacy in the wrestling ring on the second day of Khelo India Youth Games (KYIG-2019) competition, winning all seven gold medals in the girls’ under-17 weight category even without their star internationals Anshu and Sonam.
“The support from our government, the infrastructure and the exposure they get has created confidence in our girls. They are fearless and despite trailing, they fight till the end with a killer instinct. I feel that makes the difference,” said Haryana coach Vijender.   
Along with seven golds, Haryana took home one silver and five bronze medals.
Hosts Maharashtra put up a game fight but had to be content with two silver and five bronze medals in the girls’ segment.
In the boys’ under-21 Greco Roman category, Haryana won two gold and two silver medals, while Maharashtra earned silver medals from Gokul Yadav (77kg) and Rohit Ahire (72kg). A bronze came from Digvijay Bhondve in 97kg.
Haryana’s Hanny Kumari opened the account in the 46kg category by beating Maharashtra’s Kalyani Gadekar in the final 4-3. Kalyani, who comes from a small village in Washim taluka, won a load of applause when she ended Haryana girl and Asian Under-15 gold medallist Sweety Malik’s challenge in the semi-finals.
Sweety was considered the top contender for gold but Kalyani put her under pressure and gained a marginal 5-4 lead to squeeze through.
In the final, Kalyani led 3-2, and was looking strong while Hanny looked like losing ground. Haryana officials and coaches protested against the referee’s decisions and called for a video referral. Though the decision went against them, it gave Hanny enough time to recover and she immediately grabbed two points just before the final whistle.
Similarly, in the 57kg category, Maharashtra’s Bhagyashree Fand was leading 4-0 till the first break against Manju from Haryana. In the second half though, Manju trapped her opponent and without giving her a chance grabbed 14 points in a row.
“Unfortunately, our two wrestlers fell short at the final hurdle, otherwise we could have won two gold medals today. Bhagyashree’s leg got trapped which ruined her chances while Kalyani lacked in match temperament and experience” said Maharashtra’s under-17 girls’ team coach Shabnam Shaikh.
“We have come a long way in the last few years and our girls need more experience and exposure, and in near future that can outshine Haryana wrestlers,” she added.
In other categories, Haryana girls proved better than their counterparts and along with Asian U-15 gold medallist Antim (49kg), Nishu (53kg), Priyanka (61kg), Reetika (65kg) and Priya (69kg) won gold in their respective categories.

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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