After shock loss, Divya Kakran banks on national trials to make Olympic qualifiers

The Indian wrestler suffered an opening-round loss at the senior national championships last week.

By Naveen Peter

An opening-round loss at the recently concluded senior national wrestling championships has made the young Divya Kakran more determined to prepare hard for the upcoming national trials.

Divya, the reigning Asian champion in the 68kg category, was in for a rude shock when she lost her first-round bout at the senior nationals in Agra last week.

The 22-year-old wrestler Divya Kakran, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 a few months ago, was returning to competitive action at the Agra nationals. But the comeback didn’t go as per plans with the Haryana wrestler losing out to Uttar Pradesh’s Rajani 8-6.

The bronze medallist from the 2018 Asian Games, Divya Kakran, however, isn’t reading much into that Agra defeat. 

“I am training hard at my centre in New Delhi and hope to make the Indian team as I will surely be participating in the national trials that will determine who goes for the Olympic trials,” Divya Kakran told Hindustan Times.

Divya is missing the national camp for women wrestlers in Lucknow. Only medallists from each weight category were called for the camp. Forty grapplers from 10 weight categories are in the national camp. 

Also missing the national camp is the bronze medallist from the 2018 World Championships, Pooja Dhanda. The 27-year-old Pooja had skipped the senior nationals to concentrate on the national trials.

“I have to lose weight to compete in 57kg. It will lead to a loss of stamina and strength. That’s why I have decided to skip the nationals. I will now compete in trials for the qualifiers,” Pooja had said.

The camp, which will conclude on March 31 will be followed by the national trials to select the Indian team for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers scheduled for April 9-11 and the Asian Wrestling Championships from April 13-18.

Both the events will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.