India set for rich medal haul today
India are poised to begin their South Asian Games campaign in a resounding manner with the country’s wrestlers, weightlifters and swimmers expected to grab most of the medals on offer on the first day of competitions here tomorrow. Indians will also take the field in cycling, football, squash and kho-kho at various venues. The host country is expected to clinch most of the gold medals on offer in wrestling and weightlifting competitions tomorrow. Ravindra and Rajneesh will take the field in men’s 57kg and 65kg freestyle wrestling while Priyanka Singh, Archana Tomar and Manisha will fight it out in women’s category in 48kg, 55kg and 60kg at the DTRP Indoor Stadium. India had won three gold medals and a silver in men’s freestyle in the last edition in Dhaka while Pakistan had bagged two gold and a silver. In weightlifting, India had dominated in the last edition of the Games and they are expected to continue the same this time as well. The 2014 Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mirabai Chanu is expected to open India’s gold medal account in women’s 48kg while national champion Harshdeep Kaur will also look to grab the top spot in 53kg.
In men’s 56kg, India has fielded Guru Raja who won a bronze in the national championships in December last and he is expected to fight it out with Abdullah Ghafoor of Pakistan in the men’s 56kg for the top spot. Ghafoor had won a bronze in the last edition in Dhaka.
In squash, India had sent a full strength team and they are hoping to end Pakistan’s domination in the Games. Top players Sourav Ghosal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu will begin their campaign in men’s individual event. Joshna Chinnappa and Sunaina Kumari will be in action in women’s individual events.
“We are hoping that we do better than Pakistan this time. We have a strong squad and we can do it,” chief coach Cyrus Poncha said.