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Updated: October 8, 2010 02:25 IST

Geeta makes a mark in wrestling

Y.B. Sarangi
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WRESTS GOLD: India's Geeta poses with her gold medal, after defeating Emily Bensted of Australia in the 55kg Freestyle Wrestling category on Thursday. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
The Hindu
WRESTS GOLD: India's Geeta poses with her gold medal, after defeating Emily Bensted of Australia in the 55kg Freestyle Wrestling category on Thursday. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

India bags three more gold medals

Geeta steamrollered her way to the women's 55kg wrestling gold medal victory in the Commonwealth Games here on Thursday.

In a one-sided final at the K.D. Jadhav wrestling stadium in the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, Commonwealth champion Geeta's power-packed performance subdued Emily Bensted of Australia (3-0, 7-0).

Nirmala Devi bagged the 48kg silver after a heroic effort, while Suman Kundu took the 63kg bronze.

The star-studded Canadian side was the most successful team, claiming the other three gold medals of the day.

Geeta, who beat Non Evans of Wales ‘by fall' in the first round, fought back brilliantly against African championship medallist Lovina Edward of Nigeria (0-1, 1-0, 4-0) in the semifinals.

Keenly-fought

In the keenly-fought bout, the 21-year-old Indian lost the first round in a desperate bid to score a point. The Commonwealth champion managed to draw parity in the next round and put up a spirited effort in the decider to advance to the final.

Considering Geeta's class, her gold medal bout was a foregone conclusion.

“The semifinal against the Nigerian was difficult. After winning that, I was sure of getting the gold medal,” said the 21-year-old Geeta, wearing a broad smile.

Geeta, who was encouraged to take up wrestling by her father, hopes her sister, Babita, will also reap a gold medal in the 51kg. Babita's bout is listed for Friday.

Nirmala had an easy path to the final as she received a bye in the first round and out-grappled South African Brumilda Leeuw (7-0, 7-0) in the next to make the title clash against Canadian star Carol Huynh.

The 26-year-old home wrestler fought valiantly before bowing to the might of the reigning Olympic champion and World championship bronze medallist Carol (1-3, 2-4).

Using her experience

Nirmala attacked the legs of her rival to take the lead, but the Canadian utilised her experience to bag the first round in the dying moments.

Nirmala surprised her famed rival to take a two-point lead in the second round. Carol, however, turned the table on Nirmala by banking on the little opportunity she got.

“She (Nirmala) took me by surprise. But I felt confident even then,” said the Canadian.

Nirmala said she was not overawed by her opponent. “I wish I had won the gold. But she is an experienced wrestler,” she said.

India's coach P.R. Sondhi said Nirmala's competitor was superior in the mental aspect of the game.

Suman was out of the title race following her defeat (0-1, 0-3) to Nigerian Blessing Oborodudu in the semifinals.

The Indian wrestled her way through the repechage round to beat Zumicke Geringer of South Africa (4-1, 2-2, 3-0) in the bronze medal contest. In 72kg, Anshu Tomar crashed out in the first round.

Keywords: CWG 2010

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