Laishram Sayon Meitei places Manipur firmly on India’s wrestling map

Laishram Sayon Meitei put Manipur firmly on India’s wrestling map with a close-fought victory over Haryana's Pradeep Vinod to win gold in the 50kg Greco-Roman wrestling competitions in the inaugural Khelo India School Games at the KD Jadhav Stadium here on Fridayevening.

Before the final bout, Sayon Meitei appeared surprisingly calm and confident despite the Haryana rival drawing massive support from the galleries. The SGFI Nationals silver medalist was counting on his experience to see him through the final test. True to his expectations, he emerged a comfortable 5-1 winner. 

Friday continued to showcase some brilliant grassroots level talent. Haryana's Nishu, who had defeated National Sub-Junior champion Himanshi in the 49kg category yesterday, outplayed Delhi's Unnati Rathore, a National bronze medalist to finish with gold.

Pune's Parveen, a youngster from a humble background, had a more optimistic view of the Khelo India School Games. Parveen finished with the honours in the in the boys 50kg freestyle category after he beat Haryana's Ashish. Parveen's coach, Anil Kumar, sees him as a medal contender on an international circuit. 

“Training costs a lot. If the Khelo India programme funds some of it, it would definitely help. My father is a daily labourer and I have a large family. It's not always possible for him to make ends meet. I dream of winning an Olympic medal for India someday. This will help to fulfil my dream," Parveen said.

Young Simran (Delhi) who bagged the 43kg girls wrestling gold. In 2017, Simran had won the Bronze at the World Cadet Championships and she put up a dominant display today. "I am lucky to have had my parent's support every time. My coach Ekta and my father are the reason I am here today,” she said.

Boys

Freestyle 50kg class: Parveen (Maharashtra) beat Ashish (Haryana) 12-1; Bronze medals: Vinayak Ravan (Maharashtra) and Aman (Delhi).

Freestyle 58kg class: 

Greco-Roman 42kg class: Jagdish Rokade (Maharashtra) beat Suraj Sanju Anikeri (Karnataka) 4-0. Bronze medal play-off: Amol Bongade (Mahrashtra) beat Siddharth (Delhi) 3-1. 

Greco-Roman 50kg class: Laishram Sayon Metei (Manipur) beat Pradeep Vinod (Haryana) 5-1; Bronze medals: Vinayak Patil (Maharashtra) and Vishal Kumar (Punjab).

Greco-Roman 58kg class: Pravish (Delhi) beat Ram Pravish Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) 9-1; Bronze medals: Abhimanu (Punjab) and Chhotu Lal (Delhi).

Girls 

38kg class: Megha Kartar (Haryana) beat Roshani Sonkar (Delhi) 7-2; Bronze medals: Krina (Haryna) and Amita Devi (Uttar Pradesh).

43kg class: Simran (Delhi) beat Mahima Rathod (Maharashtra) 6-2; Bronze medals: Satveer Kaur (Punjab) and Pinki Narayan (Haryana).

49kg class: Nishu (Haryana) beat Unnati Rathore (Delhi) 12-4; Bronze medals: Himanshi (Chandigarh) and Seema Phogat (Rajasthan).

56kg class: Priyanka (Haryana) beat Disha Karande (Maharashtra). Bronze medals: Harshita (Haryana) and Shalini Verma (Delhi).