Divya Kakran Exclusive: Asian Championships gold immediate goal

By   - 06/02/2020

Divya Kakran is not ready to settle for anything less than a gold at the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi after having missed the continental crown by a whisker on two occasions.

The 22-year-old has worked hard to overcome the weak links as she had to settle for the silver in the 2017 New Delhi Asian Championships. Last she was forced to settle for the bronze at Xian in China.

A seasoned pro now, Divya is well aware about what it takes to cross that last hurdle. “I am training hard and concentrating properly on my weaknesses, especially my techniques. My target is to get a medal in this championships,” Divya told WrestlingTV.in in an exclusive interview.

Besides strengthening her won weak points, the Johannesburg Commonwealth Championship gold medallist is also working on the strategy to deal with the stronger Japanese and Chinese opponents, who have been her nemesis in international events.

“I have to watch out for the Japanese and Chinese wrestlers. I have lost to them on the last two occasions. I cannot afford to repeat the mistakes I have made in the past. I will give more than 100 percent in the championships,” she said.

China’s Feng Zhou and Japan’s Sara Dosho can be two major hurdles for Divya on the path to golden glory in the 33rd edition of Asian Wrestling Championships. Zhou has won the gold at the Rome Ranking Series, while Sara Dosho will be defending her Asian Championships crown.

Also Read: India eyeing five golds from New Delhi Asian Wrestling Championships

In a candid chat with WrestlingTV.in, Divya opened up about various aspects of wrestling. Here are the excerpts.

WrestlingTV: Asian Championships start in less than a fortnight. How are your preparations?

Divya Kakran: Training is going on well. At this moment, I am working on eradicating my the mistakes I have committed in the past besides a stringent strengthening schedule.

WrestlingTV: Please elaborate.

Divya Kakran: I will be cautious about China and Japan as my past record against them has not been good. I am working overtime to ensure that mistakes of the past are not repeats. We have also worked on neutralising their strengths as we now know what all they are up to.

WrestlingTV: You talked about working on weaknesses. What are your strengths and weakness?

Divya Kakran: Weaknesses also included the psychological aspect. I would be affected by the stature of my opponent. I would get a bit distracted, puzzled and somewhat worried. If I am unaware about my opponent then I can even use techniques which I learnt in my childhood on her  and can perform well.

WrestlingTV: Training demands a lot. What keeps you motivated?

Divya Kakran: My coach show me videos of the matches I have lost. He shows me the frustration and agony on my face after each defeat. That makes me realise I have not done enough in my training. My opponents must have done something better and If don’t do my bit then how can I defeat them. I also listen to music to keep me charged up for practice.

WrestlingTV: Olympics is the ultimate glory for a sportsperson. How are you heading to realise the Tokyo 2020 dream?

Divya Kakran: Right now the focus is only and only at the New Delhi Asian Championships. Then off course the Olympic Qualifiers in China, or may be at another venue as we are hearing the event may be shifted due to Coronavirus spread, is most important event. I know I cannot afford to make a mistake in these two tournaments.

WrestlingTV:  We can put it this way, the Delhi event is your immediate goal. The Asian Qualifiers next month may be the short term goal and the Olympics the ultimate target. So, how are you pursuing that ultimate goal?

Divya Kakran: It will not be fair to reveal. But my coach has identified several areas and we are working on them.

WrestlingTV: What has been your best moment in wrestling?

Divya Kakran: Any time spent on the mat or training is my best moment. Sometimes it can be the championships where I got a gold, such as Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, or on another occasion it can be a moment from training when I have added a chunk or two to my armoury. Each and every moment in wrestling is unique with its own value.

WrestlingTV: Who has been your biggest inspiration in wrestling? Your favourite wrestler?

Divya Kakran: My favourite wrestler is Sushil Kumar and I follow him a lot. I have been seeing his progress since childhood. He does a lot of hard work. When I am in Delhi and practicing at the stadium, I see how he trains. He always motivates me when he meets me. He keeps telling me to regularly and properly practice with attention and showers his blessings on me every time we meet.

WrestlingTV: Any dream related with wrestling?

Divya Kakran: My dream is to get gold in Olympics. I will also have to live the dream of my coach, who had to miss a shot at the Olympic bronze due to an injury. I have to fulfil his dream.

The Asian Championships in New Delhi are scheduled from February 18 to 23.

Wrestling (Kushti) fans can catch Live Streaming, Highlights, News, Videos, Photos, Results and Rankings on WrestlingTV

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