One of the strongest suits in the JSW-SEP kitty, six of the eight wrestlers who will represent India at the Rio Olympics are part of the Program.
Starting with Sushil Kumar's Olympic medal in 2008, Indian wrestling has consistently improved and today we are ranked amongst the top nations in the sport.
One amongst a select club of Indian wrestlers who have won an Olympic quota at a World Championship, Narsingh Yadav's last-minute heroics against a former World Junior Champion at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships saw the country sit up and take notice of his phenomenal talent.
Narsingh had earlier come into prominence at the 2010 Commonwealth Games where he won the Gold. After a couple of lean years, the Mumbai-born grappler bounced back, winning a Bronze at the 2014 Asian Games and at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships. Narsingh was the only Indian wrestler who went unbeaten in the inaugural edition of the Pro Wrestling League.
Afforded one shot at clinching an Olympic quota, Sandeep Tomar grabbed the chance with both hands, putting in an inspired performance in the 57 kg category to seal a berth for the Rio de Janeiro Games at the World Olympic Qualifier in Mongolia.
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Sandeep came to prominence when he won the Gold at the 2014 Military World Games. Sandeep is a speedy and aggressive wrestler, using his pace and quick reflexes to unsettle his opponent. In February 2016, Sandeep was the only Indian wrestler to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championship in Bangkok.
Rahul Aware, who comes from a small village in Maharashtra's Beed district, shone at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games where he won a gold medal. In 2011, he clinched a bronze medal in the 57 kg category at the Asian Championship and later that year, added a gold medal in the same category at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship. Having recently made a comeback from a long injury lay-off, Rahul looked in good touch as he won a bronze medal at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in March 2016, narrowly missing out on a quota for the Rio Olympics.
Son of former Olympian and famed wrestler Satyawan Kadian, the 22-year-old Satywart won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, competing in the 97 kg category. He later added a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Wrestling Championship to go with a bronze that he had won at the Junior World Championship in 2013. Satywart came very close to winning a quota place for the Rio Olympics, faltering at the final hurdle at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Astana in March 2016.
The only Greco-Roman wrestler in the JSW-SEP fold, Sandeep Yadav became India's first ever World Championship medallist in Greco-Roman wrestling when he won a medal at the 2013 edition in Budapest in the 66 kg category. A veritable force on the domestic circuit, Sandeep has recently made a comeback from a shoulder injury and is currently training with the national Greco-Roman team.
The flag-bearer of Indian women's wrestling, Geeta Phogat became the first Indian female wrestler to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, clinching the yellow metal at the 2010 edition. Geeta also became the first Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Summer Olympics after she won gold at the 2012 Asian Qualification Tournament. A World Championship bronze medallist, Geeta recently won another bronze at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships and competed for India at the first World Olympic Qualifier in Mongolia.
Babita became the third Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, when United World Wrestling awarded her a quota in the 53 kg category. Babita has been one of the most consistent woman wrestlers in India. Having announced herself on the big stage with silver in the 51 kg class at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Babita went one better four years later, grappling her way to the gold.
Her win in 2014 was all the more impressive considering Babita moved up in weight, competing in the 55 kg weight category. In addition to her Commonwealth Games exploits, Babita also has a World Championship bronze medal to her name, having won it at the 2012 edition in Strathacona County. Babita received the Arjuna Award in August 2015.
Always touted as one having immense potential, Sakshi Malik justified that potential, fighting through a tough bracket at the World Olympic Qualifiers in the 58 kg category to win a silver and more importantly, claim an Olympic quota for the country.
At 23, the Rohtak-native is an experienced grappler as evidenced by her growing trophy cabinet. A silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the 58 kg category gave enough indication of Sakshi's potential. The very next year, she picked up a bronze medal in the 60 kg category at Doha's Asian Wrestling Championship. A semi-final appearance at the 2016 Asian Championship and in March's Asian Olympic Qualifiers gave further proof of her consistency and big-game temperament.