Indian youngsters face stiff test at Worlds, expectations high from Anshu, Sarita

Anshu Malik and Sarita Mor will be under the microscope; men’s team wears new look

The youngsters in the Indian wrestling contingent will seek to gain big-stage experience at the World Championships, starting here on Saturday.

Proven performers such as Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Vinesh Phogat and Deepak Punia are all missing from the squad either due to injury issues or lack of preparation.

Hence it is a tremendous chance for youngsters like Ravinder Dahiya (61kg), Rohit (65kg), Yash Tushir (74kg), Pruthviraj Basaheb Patil (92kg) and Anirudh Gulia (125kg) to get some experience of the senior World championships, having graduated from the junior level.

But, the expectations will be high on Anshu Malik (57kg), who is the only wrestler here who was at the Tokyo Olympics.

She has delivered a podium finish at five of the six international events, barring the Olympic Games, that she has participated in at the senior level.

Sarita Mor is one of the most experienced wrestlers in the women’s squad, someone who knows what it takes to win a medal at this level.

She has won titles at the Asian level but the World championship is where she has always struggled.

She has made five attempts at the senior level and once at the under-23 level but could never reach the podium rounds.

Sangeeta back

It will be interesting to see how Sangeeta Phogat fares. It will not be easy since she is returning to the circuit from injury. Divya Kakran, after missing the Tokyo Olympics, must be eager to prove herself.

She will compete in the 72kg category instead of her usual 68kg, in which the seasoned Ritu Malik will represent India.

Making up the squad are teenagers Hanny (50kg), Pooja Jatt (53kg) and Bhateri (65kg).

The men’s squad wears a completely new look. Except Satyawart Kadiyan (97kg) all others are at their first senior Worlds.

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