Youthful Indian judo team for South Asian Games

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) The experienced pair of Laishram Sushila Devi and Thoudam Kalpana Devi will spearhead the 12-member Indian judo squad at the forthcoming 12th South Asian Games to be held from February 5-16 in Guwahati and Shillong.

Sushila (women’s -48kg) and Kalpana Devi (women’s -52kg) are among the few experienced faces in the national squad with the selectors deciding to give young judokas valuable international experience in the regional competition.

Kalpana Devi had missed out on a bronze after losing her repechage bout to Lenariya Mingazova of Kazakhstan at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, last year.

Angom Anita Chanu (57kg), Huidrom Sunibala Devi (-63kg), Pooja (-70kg) and Aruna (-78kg) are the other members in the women’s team.

Among the men, Avtar Singh (-90kg) boasts the most experience. The Punjab Police judoka was also part of the Indian team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland last year.

Bhupinder singh (-60kg) Jasleen Singh Saini (-66kg), Manjeet Nandal (-73kg) Karanjit Singh Maan (81kg) and Shubham Kumar (-100kg) are also part of the men’s team.

The Indian squad was selected at the open selection trials held at the Sports Authourity of India (SAI) centre in Bhopal.

In the last 11th South Asian Games held in February 2010 in Bangladesh, Indian was the most successful nation in judo, topping the medals taly with five gold and one bronze medals.

The judo competition in this year’s South Asian Games will be held on February 15-16 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex, in Shillong, Meghalaya.

The squad:

Men’s team: Bhupinder Singh (-60kg), Jasleen Singh Saini (-66kg), Manjeet Nandal (-73kg), Karanjit Singh Maan (-81kg), Avtar Singh (-90kg), Shubham Kumar (-100kg)

Women’s team: L. Sushila Devi (-48kg), Th. Kalpana Devi (-52kg), Angom Anita Chanu (-57kg), Huidrom Sunibala Devi (-63kg), Pooja (-70kg), Aruna (-78kg).

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