Gritty grapplers fancy their chances at Asiad


New Delhi: With only five days to go for the 2018 Asian Games, the Indian wrestlers are upbeat about their chances and will look to return with a rich medal haul from the quadrennial event.

Bajrang Punia, the silver medallist at the 2014 Incheon Games, said the team members were training hard and assured of a good show at Jakarta. “We don’t train for one opponent. We just can’t do that because you don’t know who your opponent would be,” he said here on Sunday.

“But mentally you have to strong to tackle the situation,” Punia added, who will take part in the freestyle 65 kg class.

One of the most experienced names in the 18-member squad with a bronze from the previous Games, Vinesh Poghat said competition in Jakarta will be as tough as the Olympics.

“There is a Japanese Olympic champion and Chinese Olympic bronze medallist in the field. It is going to be tough and I have devised a strategy according to each of my opponent,” Vinesh said.

Vinesh, who suffered a heartbreaking injury during the 2016 Rio Games, said having a world class coach by her side is a must to get the desired results. She chose to train with Hungary’s Waller Akos and said it has worked well so far.

“They have a long term plan for each and every wrestler. They know what you have to do today, tomorrow, 10 days before the tournaments and 20 days after the event. That is very important.

“They evaluated me before making a plan, whether they need to work on my speed, power or stamina, strategy,” Vinesh said.

“I have prepared well in Hungary and worked on many little things, won medals at CWG and then in Spain. I will take carry this confidence into the Asian Games,” she added, sounding confident of a good show in Jakarta.