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Updated: May 28, 2012 01:08 IST

Rana wins 66kg freestyle gold

Principal Correspondent
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India’s Praveen Rana (right) in action
against Lobjanidze of Georgia in the 66kg freestyle
category on Sunday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
India’s Praveen Rana (right) in action against Lobjanidze of Georgia in the 66kg freestyle category on Sunday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Promising wrestler Praveen Rana lifted the 66kg freestyle title on the concluding day of the first Hari Ram Indian Grand Prix wrestling championships at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, here on Sunday.

Nineteen-year-old Rana, who had bagged the Asian Championship bronze earlier this year, gave a clinical performance to outwit Georgian Lobjanidze (3-0, 2-0) in the intensely-fought final and claim his first international gold medal at the senior level.

In the absence of Olympic bronze medallist Sushil Kumar, Rana lived up to the expectation of his coaches who had great faith in the teenager's ability.

“He is the next big thing in this weight after Sushil.

“He has shown tremendous improvement in the last one year,” said his coach Vinod Kumar.

Swift counterattacks

Delhi-based Rana, a 2011 World junior medallist, relied on his swift counterattacks to grab three points in the opening period of the summit clash.

A successful video-referral from the Georgian left Rana with just a one-point lead in the last 30 seconds of the second period.

However, he held his nerve and succeeded in his strategy of attacking Lobjanidze's left leg to emerge as the deserving winner.

“My coaches had told me to attack his legs and the strategy paid off for me,” said an elated Rana, who would participate in the Asian Junior Championship in Kazakhstan next month.

On his way to the final, Rana had got the better of compatriot Manoj Kumar (1-0, 3-0), Azerbaijan's Muslimov (2-2, 4-0) and Mongolian Khultee (by fall in the first period).

Indians shine

Besides Rana's gold, India gathered three bronze medals on the final day of the event. Manoj was the second Indian medallist in 66kg, while Pawan Kumar finished on the podium in 84kg.

There was huge expectation from the experienced Gursharan Preet Kaur in women's 72kg.

Gursharan, who lost early, salvaged some pride by winning a bronze medal.

The host wrestlers failed to manage a podium finish in the women's 63kg category.

India, which had three entries in several weight classes, collected two gold, three silver and five bronze medals from the event.

The medallists (Indians unless specified):

Men: Freestyle: 66kg: 1. Praveen Rana, 2. Lobjanidize (Geo), 3. Manoj Kumar and Nasiri (Iri).

84kg: 1. Reader Jonathan (USA), 2. Kim Gwan (Kor), 3. Pawan Kumar and Mohd. Hamedipour (Iri).

Women: 63kg: 1. Haruka Sato (Jpn), 2. Zaitseva (Kaz), 3. Kim Hye Bin (Kor) and Sharkhuu (Mgl).

72kg: 1. Ochirbat (Mgl), 2. Davis Kristie (USA), 3. Gursharan Preet Kaur and Hiroe Suzuki (Jpn).

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Indian wrestlers are doing a great thing they are now claiming medals at world/Asian/ international championships but still not getting attention by media. Indian media should help Indian wrestlers to shine strongly. Indian media is running after cricket it should also notice the other games where we are getting is raining on cricketers who have not done anything special in tournaments like Ipl. a super flop cricketer gets crore of rupees only to participate but a wrestler who wins medals for India are not capable of getting bread for them why? kindly pay some attention to wrestlers also.

from:  pardeep dahiya
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 18:26 IST

it is good that indian wrestlers are doing great in all world level championships. but still they are not getting the media attention they deserve. so media should pay off the same cradit as they do to other sports,then only wrestling will get fame and will be noticed by youth. also congrates to all the wrestlers for their victory.

from:  narender
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:53 IST

Congratulations to Praveen Rana and our medal winners.

from:  Dr.Cajetan Coelho
Posted on: May 28, 2012 at 10:26 IST
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