Pritam the unlikely hero

Takes maiden gold in the 74kg freestyle category

Railways’ wrestler Pritam emerged as an unexpected hero as he claimed his maiden gold medal in the competitive 74kg freestyle weight category at the National wrestling championships on Saturday.

Pritam, a 25-year-old from Rohtak, defeated World junior championships bronze medallist Yash Tushir 11-0 in the summit clash to win by technical superiority. Yash had defeated veteran World championships bronze medallist Narsingh Yadav, who earlier edged past experienced former Asian champion Amit Dhankar, in the semifinals.

“My preparation was good. I am delighted to win my first gold medal after a bronze (in 74kg) and a silver (in 79kg). I won all my bouts on technical superiority. That gives me a lot of confidence,” said Pritam.

Gourav Baliyan, another World junior bronze medallist, beat Asian silver medallist Jitender Kinha, who made a comeback after a knee surgery, 5-3 to take the 79kg crown.

Services bagged the freestyle team championship.

The medallists: Freestyle: Men: 57kg: Gold: Aman (Har), Silver: Abhishek (Del), Bronze: Harvinder Singh (SSCB), Abba Saheb (RSPB).

65kg: Gold: Rohit (SSCB), Silver: Sharvan (SSCB), Bronze: Pradeep (RSPB), Manoj Kumar (UP).

74kg: Gold: Pritam (RSPB), Silver: Yash Tushir (Del), Bronze: Preet Singh (Chd), Narsingh Yadav (Mah).

79kg: Gold: Gourav Baliyan (RSPB), Silver: Jitender Kinha (RSPB), Bronze: Pradeep (SSCB), Vinod Kumar (SSCB).

92kg: Gold: Vicky (SSCB), Silver: Monu (Del), Bronze: Jony (HP), Pruthviraj Patil (SSCB).

125kg: Gold: Shivraj (Mah), Silver: Mohit (Har), Bronze: Satinder (SSCB), Dinesh (Har).

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