Spearheaded by the experienced duo Laishram Sushila Devi and Thoudam Kalpana Devi, defending champions India will target 10 out of 12 gold medals on offer when judo gets underway in the 12th South Asian Games here.
Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medallists
Sushila Devi and Kalpana Devi—who are India’s two Rio Olympic hopefuls, will look to rule on the mat in the 48kg and 52kg categories respectively when the three-day event gets underway at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Complex.
The 12-member Indian team is coached by the Kazakhstan’s Vladimir Kichatov, who took charge in August last year.
Women’s coach Virender Yadav said she is hopeful that her players would do well.
“We’ve some good youngsters in the line-up and we hope to do well here. As for the Olympics, it’s very tough and the two women judokas have the best chance to qualify,” women’s coach Virender Yadav told PTI.
Angom Anita Chanu (57kg), Huidrom Sunibala Devi (63kg), Pooja (70kg) and Aruna (78kg) are the other members of the women team, which is a mix of youth and experience.
There will be six disciplines in men’s section with Punjab Police’s Avtar Singh, a member of the Glasgow CWG team, ready to lead the pack in the 90kg section.
Bhupinder Singh (60kg), Jasleen Singh Saini (66kg), Manjeet Nandal (73kg), Karanjit Singh Maan (81kg) and Shubham Kumar (100kg) comprise the men’s team.
In the last edition of the South Asian Games, there were less number of disciplines and India had topped the medals tally with five gold and a bronze.
Men: Bhupinder Singh (60kg), Jasleen Singh Saini (66kg), Manjeet Nandal (73kg), Karanjit Singh Maan (81kg), Avtar Singh (90kg), Shubham Kumar (100kg).
Women: Laishram Sushila Devi (48kg), Th Kalpana Devi (52kg), Angom Anita Chanu (57kg), Huidrom Sunibala Devi (63kg), Pooja (70kg), Aruna (78kg).
Coaches: Vladimir Kichatov, Rameshwar Dutt Mudgil and Virender Singh.
Manager: Dhananjay Bhonsale.