Top 10 Wrestlers in India
1. Bajrang Punia
Bajrang Punia is the only Indian to have won three world championship medals, having won silver in 2018 and bronze in 2013 and 2019.
Last year, Bajrang Punia won bronze in 65kg at Tokyo 2020 and is the reigning Commonwealth and Asian Games champion in his weight class. In 2014, Bajrang Punia won silver at the Commonwealth and Asian Games and is a two-time Asian champion.
2. Babita Phogat
While Geeta Phogat’s gold medal was one of the highlights of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, her younger sister, Babita Phogat finished second in the 51kg category.
Babita won bronze at the world championships in September after failing to cut in London 2012. She went on to represent India at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
Babita also won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
3. Geeta Phogat
Geeta Phogat has not won an Olympic medal, but she is the first Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Games in 2012.
Though she did not leave an indelible mark in London in 2012, Geeta Phogat bounced back to win a bronze medal at the world championships in the 55kg weight class later that year.
Geeta Phogat was also the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
4. Sakshi Malik
While Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat were India’s most celebrated wrestlers heading into Rio 2016, Sakshi Malik, competing in the 58kg weight division, quietly went about her business and became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal
Sakshi Malik won gold at the Commonwealth Championships in 2017 and bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games before a series of injuries derailed her career.
Sakshi Malik appears to be slowly regaining her lost touch after missing the Tokyo Olympics and will compete in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
5. Yogeshwar Dutt
Sushil’s achievement was complemented by Yogeshwar Dutt’s bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, as India found two heroes making their mark on the international stage.
Many Indian wrestlers have been inspired by Dutt’s performance in London in 2012, despite suffering a severe eye injury during the event. He has also served as a role model for future generations of wrestlers, including Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia.
Yogeshwar Dutt is a two-time Commonwealth Games champion who also won Asian Games gold in the 65kg weight class in 2014.
6. Sushil Kumar
Wrestling’s popularity in India skyrocketed following Sushil Kumar’s 66kg freestyle bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In 2010, Sushil Kumar became the first Indian wrestler to win a gold medal at the World Championships. Following his silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012, he became the first Indian athlete to win two individual Olympic medals in any sport.
Sushil Kumar is the only Indian world champion in wrestling and a three-time Commonwealth Games champion.
7. Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
At the Summer Olympics in Helsinki in 1952, K.D. Jadhav became the first independent Indian athlete to win an Olympic medal. He received a bronze medal. He competed in two Olympics during his career, in 1948 and 1952.
After retiring from international competition, he became a sub-inspector with the Bombay Police Department, where he won several competitions. He was also a national sports instructor.
8. Vinesh Phogat
Vinesh Phogat comes from a wrestling family with a long history. Her cousins, Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari are both well-known wrestlers. She began wrestling at a young age, modeling herself after her cousins. She was the first Indian female wrestler to win gold medals at both the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
She was also the first Indian athlete to be nominated for the Laureus World Sports Awards in 2019. She has made significant progress in her short career, winning gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Asian Championships. She has also received the Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards (2020).
9. Deepak Punia
Deepak had a fantastic wrestling season in 2019. After becoming the first Indian to win gold at the Junior World Wrestling Championships, he went on to win silver at the senior level and earn a bronze medal. a spot for India in the 86kg category at the Tokyo Olympics.
He won another medal at the Asian Championships only a few months after taking silver at the World Championships in Nur Sultan. Deepak’s meteoric rise has put India in a position to win its first heavyweight medal.
10. Udey Chand
Inspired by the heroics of KD Jadhav, Udey Chand became the first Indian wrestler to win a world championship medal – bronze in the 67kg category – in 1961. Udey Chand competed in the 70kg freestyle and Greco-Roman events at the Asian Games the following year, winning silver medals in both. Between 1960 and 1968, Udey Chand represented India in three Olympic Games but did not finish on the podium.