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Sajan, Vijay announce arrival on senior level with national titles


Sajan Bhanwala celebrated his inclusion in the central contracts by emerging national champion in the 77kg with dominant victories as the Greco Roman competitions at the Tata Motors Senior Nationals concluded here Friday.

The 19-year-old Sajan showed that his transition from the junior to senior level is on right track as he downed his senior colleagues to take his maiden national title at this level.

Sajan, who got a job with the Railways just a few days back, took the gold by beating Bihar's Krihsn Kant Yadav by technical superiority. In the semifinals, he was trailing 1-6 against a formidable R Rafiq Holi, but managed to pin down the Services grappler.

Rafiq and Praveen took bronze in this category.

"I feel I have gained a lot of experience in this tournament. The competition was good. Now I will get to train at the senior national camp which will further help me improve," said Sajan.

"The inclusion in the contracts is also very encouraging for people like me, who don't have much money. I got this job only 2-3 days back," he said after being included in the Wrestling Federation of India's central contracts' 'Category C' for Rs 10-lakh support.

Another junior wrestler to annex the senior national title was Vijay in the 55kg category. The junior World bronze medallist, competing for Services-B, outclassed Harayana B's Ravin 8-5 in the final.

He led 5-2 after the first period and kept increasing his lead. He conceded a few points but had a comfortable gap throughout.

Punjab's Harpreet Singh is a seasoned campaigner but he had to struggle on his way to gold after being tested by Indian Army's Shobhit Kumar in the 82kg final.

The triple medallist at the Asian Championship prevailed 4-3 in a tight final bout. He often created moves but struggled to execute. Twice he went for lift but ended up conceding points on those attempts.

Nevertheless, it was a fifth straight gold for Harpreet at the Nationals and overall seventh medal, including a silver (2012) and a bronze (2013).

"I was in hurry. I wanted to finish the bout early. And this is first time I have lost a point in last five years. And it happened because of my mistake," Harpreet, who suffered a cut above his right eye, said.

The Punjab grappler said he could have been put in a better bracket instead of (Rs 3 lakh) but was happy that Greco Roman wrestlers have started getting support.

"The 75,000 per quarter would be like pocket money but something is better than nothing. I can at least mange my supplements with this money," he said.

Harpreet conceded that his below par show at the Asian Games and the World Championship played a role in his inclusion in the lower-bracket.

The 130kg gold went to SSCB-B's Naveen, who outwitted Deepak Punia in the final, grabbing the title with a win by technical superiority.

The gold in the 60kg category was won by Nitin from the Railways. He outplayed Maharashtra's Pankaj 5-1 in the gold medal bout. It was a category where Gyanender from Services was expected to do well but he faded in the quarterfinals, losing by technical superiority to Manish from Haryana-A.

Manish and RSPB's Vikram Kurade took bronze.

In the 63kg, SSCB's Sagar held off a spirited challenge from Haryana A's Rajeet 4-3 to claim gold. Sagar led 3-0 after the first period but Rajeet made it even steven in the second period before stepping out to concede a crucial gold-deciding point.

Suresh Yadav from SSCB-A and Sunil from Haryana-A took the bronze medals.

In the 72kg final, SSCB's Yogesh took the gold with a 2-1 win over RSPB's Kuldeep Malik.

After being tied 1-1 in first period, the Indian Navy wrestler took a narrow lead on passivity of his rival, and kept that by playing defensively to claim the title.

The other gold winners were RSPB's Sunil Kumar (87kg), Hardeep (97kg) and Jhakhand's Saurabh (67kg).

RSPB yet again took the team title with 176 points, followed SSCB (173) and Harayana (120).

"We lost the team title by our own mistakes. Our grapplers should have done better," said SSCB coach Kuldeep Singh.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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