The tournament will begin on the 10th of September.

The World Wrestling Championship 2022 is the 17th edition of the World Championships. It will feature all the combined events of wrestling and it will be held between 10 and 18 September 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Initially, Krasnoyarsk, Russia was given the hosting rights of the World Wrestling Championship 2022 and Belgrade was supposed to stage the Senior World Championship 2023. However, due to the restrictions on Russia hosting the World Championships in 2022, the host cities needed to be swapped.

Though the World Wrestling Championship 2022 is not a pathway to the 2024 Paris Olympics, it will serve as perfect practice for all the wrestlers who are aiming to win quotas from next year. 

India has announced a squad of 30 wrestlers. The 30-member squad comprises 10 wrestlers for each of the three categories: Men’s Freestyle, Men’s Greco-Roman and Women’s Freestyle. The only notable absentee is Deepak Punia. The 23-year old Deepak suffered an elbow injury during his recent training stint in USA. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) have named Sanjeet as Deepak’s replacement in the men’s 86kg freestyle category.

Let’s have a look at ten wrestlers to watch out for in the 2022 World Wrestling Championships:

10. Sonam Malik

Sonam Malik will look to make a mark at the senior level after winning a silver medal in the World Junior Wrestling Championship 2022 held in Sofia, Bulgaria. The 20-year-old will be competing in the women’s 62kg freestyle category.

9. Sarita Mor

World No.1 Sarita is an outright favourite to secure a podium finish. She has a world championship bronze medal to her name and will be eyeing to even better her performance this time around. She will be battling it out in the women’s 57kg freestyle category.

8. Mansi Ahlawat

Mansi Ahlawat has been in irresistible form this year. She upset world championship bronze medallist Pooja Dhanda to seal her spot in the women’s 59kg freestyle category. In June, she won the Almaty Ranking Series without dropping a point in the championship.

7. Arjun Halakurki

Arjun Halakurki will be leading India’s challenge in the men’s 55kg Greco-Roman event. The 24-year-old became the national champion in 2021. In April this year, he won a bronze medal in the Asian Wrestling Championship.

6. Sunil Kumar

Like Arjun, Sunil Kumar also bagged bronze in the 2022 Asian Wrestling Championship. Sunil stood atop the podium in the 2022 Zouhaier Sghaier event. He will be seen in action in the men’s Greco-Roman 87kg event.

5. Sagar Jaglan:

Currently, Sagar Jaglan is establishing himself in India’s elite list of wrestlers. The 18-year old Sagar bagged a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships 2022. He has also won the Cadet World Championship 2021 title. He will be plying his trade in the men’s freestyle 74kg category.

4. Naveen Malik

Naveen, who won the Commonwealth Games gold in 74kg, will return to competing in his usual weight category – the men’s 70kg freestyle event. The 19-year Naveen won the selection trials to book his spot for the 2022 World Championship.

3. Vinesh Phogat

Star wrestler Vinesh will be vying for the top spot in the women’s 53kg freestyle event. Recently, Vinesh completed a hat-trick of Commonwealth Games golds in Birmingham 2022. She will be hopeful of carrying her rich vein of form into the 2022 World Championship as well. 

2. Bajrang Punia

Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia seems to have regained top form and fitness after suffering from knee and hamstring injury just before the Tokyo Games. Bajrang stood atop the podium at the Commonwealth Games 2022. He already has three World Championship medals (1 silver, 2 bronze) against his name. He will be chasing that elusive gold this time around in the men’s 65kg freestyle category.

1. Ravi Dahiya

Ravi Dahiya, who won silver in his debut Olympics, is ranked among the world’s best wrestlers in the world. He has previously won a bronze medal in the 2019 World Championship. The 24-year-old Ravi is in supreme form as he won gold at his maiden Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. He will be competing in the men’s 57kg freestyle category.

The complete Indian squad is as follows:

Men’s Freestyle:

Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Pankaj Malik (61kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Naveen Malik (70kg), Sagar Jaglan (74kg), Deepak Mirka (79kg), Sanjeet (86kg), Vicky Hooda (92kg), Vicky Chahar (97kg), Dinesh Dhankar (125kg)

Men’s Greco-Roman:

Arjun Halakurki (55kg), Gyanender (60kg), Neeraj (63kg), Ashu (67kg), Vikas (72kg), Sachin (77kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Deepanshu (97kg), Satish (130kg)

Women’s Freestyle:

Ankush (50kg), Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Sushma Shokeen (55kg), Sarita Mor (57kg), Mansi Ahlawat (59kg), Sonam Malik (62kg), Shefali (65kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg), Reetika (72kg) and Priyanka (76kg)

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