Arjun, Harpreet bag golds at National Wrestling Championships

India’s Sajan Bhanwal had to settle for a silver in the same competition.

By Sumedh Pande ·

The final act of India's 64th National Wrestling Championships witnessed the Greco-Roman wrestlers fight for the top honours in Jalandhar. It was the third day of the competition but it wasn't short of feisty encounters, especially with a major upset and some big names defending their crown.

Arjun Halakurki (55kg) eased his way to a gold medal while seasoned grappler Harpreet Singh (82kg) nabbed top spot in his weight category.

Sajan settles for silver

In the 77kg category, Sajan Bhanwal, easily the biggest name in India's Greco-Roman circuit, went down fighting in a close encounter against the 2019 Asian Games silver medallist, Gurpreet Singh.

Reigning national champion Sajan facing two-time junior World Championships medallist Gurpreet was labelled as one of the duels of the tournament; and the bout lived up to its billing.

At the end of three hard-fought rounds, Punjab's Gurpreet emerged victorious by a 3-1 scoreline, largely due to his solid defence. Sajan, who recently represented India in the U-23 World Championships, failed at his attempts on numerous takedowns and ultimately had to settle for silver.

Punjab grapplers impress

Arjun Halakurki of Punjab, who represented India at the U-23 Worlds, continued his dominance in the 55kg category as he strolled to a 9-0 win over Ajay in the final bout. It's a day that the Services wrestler will recall for years to come, as he grabbed his first senior national gold.

In the 82kg weight class, Harpreet Singh also justified his tag as Punjab's trusted grappler with a gold-medal finish. The 2016 Asian Games silver medallist had to endure a tough bout against Rajbir Chikkara in the final but emerged unscathed with a 4-1 victory.

Other notable results included Hardeep Singh, the Indian Greco-Roman wrestler who featured at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, winning a gold in the 97kg category.

What's next for India's wrestlers?

The National Wrestling Championships opened with the emergence of young men's freestyle wrestlers in the form of Gourav Baliyan and Ravinder, whereas day two witnessed household names Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik continue their domestic dominance.

The focus for Indian wrestling now moves to the South Asian Games, set to be held in Nepal this week.