Veteran wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt will spearhead the Indian challenge at the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament to be held at Astana, Kazakhstan, from March 18 to 20.

The men’s squad includes five Freestyle wrestlers and six in the Greco-Roman category while the women’s squad has six members. The teams were selected at the national trials which were held in the capital on Friday and Saturday.

At the trials, Yogeshwar overcame Asian champion Amit Dhankar in the 66kg freestyle category. The duo had earlier clashed during the inaugural edition of the Pro Wrestling League where Yogeshwar had emerged as the winer.

In men’s 57kg, Rahul Aware defeated Sandeep Tomar to make the Indian squad while Somveer overpowered Gopal Yadav in the 86kg division.

The women’s squad has several experienced grapplers including Vinesh Phogat (48kg), Babita Kumari (53kg) and Navjot Kaur (67kg).

After the Astana event, the team will travel to Georgia and Belarus for a training stint before going to Mongolia for the 1st World Qualification tournament to be held from April 20-24.

The squad: 


Freestyle: 57kg – Rahul Aware; 65kg – Yogeshwar Dutt; 86kg – Somveer; 97kg – Satyawart Kadiyan; and 125kg – Hitender. 

Greco-Roman: 59kg – Ravinder Singh, 66kgb- Ravinder, 75kg – Gurpreet Singh; 85kg – Ravinder Khatri; 98kg – Hardeep Singh; and 130kg – Naveen.


48kg – Vinesh Phogat; 53kg- Babita Kumari; 58kg – Sakshi Malik; 63kg – Anita; 67kg – Navjot Kaur; and 75kg Kiran.