NEW DELHI: Amidst chaos of the highest order, Narsingh Yadav's freestyle 74kg gold medal was the lone bright spot for the home fans in the Asian wrestling championship, which began at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex wrestling stadium here on Wednesday.
Mismanagement was the order of the day and mediapersons were the worst-affected. The poorly-briefed security personnel had problems in almost everything — from allowing the scribes to enter the stadium to carrying essential equipment like laptops and other articles, etc.
Inside the stadium, the photographers were not permitted to reach the platform from where they were supposed to shoot pictures. The reporters were prevented from interacting with the wrestlers in the mixed zone.
The police even ‘misbehaved' with some scribes who argued against being denied entry despite having valid accreditations. Even the Doordarshan staffers had a tough time as they were not allowed to carry their equipment to cover the event. Thus, the live telecast started nearly two hours after the start of the competitions.
Officials of the Press Operations department, Organising Committee Commonwealth Games, were disappointed as they were not able to provide various facilities to the mediapersons because of the ‘mindless security' stipulations at the ‘test' event.
Some top International Wrestling Federation (FILA) officials also had a taste of the ‘strict' security measures as they were not granted permission to carry their bags having important documents with them.
Wrestling Federation of India President G.S. Mander apologised for the inconvenience caused to mediapersons. “We are helpless (because of the security arrangements). Hopefully things would improve from tomorrow,” he told The Hindu.
Narsingh (74 kg freestyle), nevertheless, won hearts with his showing and earned the first medal for India. He was on a roll getting past Ilgiz Dzhakypbekov of Kyrgyzstan (2-0, 4-0), Murodillo Ablokulov of Uzbekistan (2-0, 4-0) and Seifaddin Osmanov of Kazakhstan (2-3, 1-0, 1-0) to book a berth in the final.
In the summit clash, he overcame a strong challenge from Iranian Saeed Riahi (1-1, 1-1). The Iranian took the lead in both the rounds but Narsingh gave him a befitting reply to garner points and emerge winner on the basis of scoring the last points.
However, Rahul Mann (60 kg FS) and Mausam Khatri (96 kg FS) could not make much of an impression.
The medal winners: Freestyle: 60 kg: 1. Masoud Esmaeilpoor (Iri), 2. Shogo Maeda (Jpn), 3. Seung-Chul Lee (Kor), Dauren Zhumagazyyev (Kaz).
74 kg: 1. Narsingh Yadav (Ind), 2. Saeed Riahi (Iri), 3. Seifaddin Osmanov (Kaz), Yun-Seok Lee (Kor); 96 kg: 1. Reza Yazdani (Iri), 2. Nurzhan Kataev (Kaz), 3. Takao Isokawa (Jpn), Jae-Gang Kim (Kor) .