A big MSD fan, Greco-Roman wrestler Sachin Sehrawat bags bronze on Asian Championships debut

Sachin won a 67kg bronze in the Greco-Roman category of the ongoing Asian Championships in Mongolia on Wednesday

Published: 21st April 2022 06:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2022 06:21 PM   |  A+A-

Wrestlers Sachin Sehrawat (L) and Harpreet Singh with coach Hargobind Singh (C)

Wrestlers Sachin Sehrawat (L) and Harpreet Singh with coach Hargobind Singh (C). (Photo | Special Arrangement)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A reluctant wrestler, Sachin Sehrawat, was a big MS Dhoni fan and wanted to be a successful wicketkeeper-batter like him. He even joined a cricket academy in Faridkot (Punjab) to pursue his dream. His father Virender Singh, who was with the BSF and posted at Faridkot then, however, wanted his son to follow some individual sports.

Sachin was unrelenting but eventually decided to switch to wrestling after coaches at his academy didn't give him enough opportunities with the bat during training. "My father suggested to take up wrestling. So I joined Baba Farid Kushti Akhara in Faridkot in 2012," Sachin, 25, told The New Indian Express from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia after winning his first international medal, a 67kg bronze in the Greco-Roman category of the ongoing Asian Championships on Wednesday.

However, the journey was not easy as he failed to impress for quite a long period. He never managed to win medals in junior events and even thought of leaving the sport after continuous failures. "My seniors and family members motivated me not to give up. Their words comforted me and the hard work paid off as I started winning medals at the senior level," Sachin, a havildar with the Indian Army, said.

After losing the quarterfinal to Meiirzhan Shermakhanbet of Kazakhstan 8-0 by a fall, Sachin, who trains at the Army Sports Institute in Pune, made a remarkable comeback in the bronze medal match to defeat Uzbek wrestler Mahmud Bakhshilloev 7-3 by a fall to finish on the podium on his Asian Championships debut. This was his second international outing after Dan Kolov — Nikola Petrov Tournament in Bulgaria earlier this year.

Harpreet Singh (82kg) also bagged a bronze medal. The 29-year-old Harpreet from Punjab defeated Sejin Yang of Korea 4-2 in the quarterfinal but lost to Rasoul Sadegh Garmsiri of Iran 5-0 by a fall in the semifinal. His opponent in the bronze medal playoff, Jafar Khan from Qatar, however, didn't take the mat due to injury giving the Indian wrestler his first international medal since 2019 when he had bagged silver in the Asian Championships. This was his eighth appearance in the event and he has won four medals including one silver and three bronze.

Both Sachin and Harpreet started wrestling under the watchful eyes of Hargobind Singh, who is now the head coach of the Indian Greco-Roman team.

Gyanender also reached the bronze medal playoff but lost to Ayata Suzuki of Japan 11-0 by technical superiority. Vikas (72kg) and Ravi (97kg) were the other Indian wrestlers in action on Wednesday but they could not go beyond the quarterfinals.

The country's wrestlers had bagged three bronze on Tuesday. The five medal haul is the second best show by the Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers in the continental event after the 2020 championships in New Delhi where they had bagged five medals including a yellow metal and four bronze.



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