Wrestling | Other Sports

Vinesh Phogat goes down fighting

Reason to smile: Sakshi Malik (left) and Vinesh Phogat had a fantastic run in the championship.  

Vinesh Phogat made a remarkable return to the international arena by claiming a silver in the 55-kg class in the Asian Wrestling Championship at the KD Jadhav arena at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium Complex here on Friday.

India won three silver and a bronze on Friday, taking its tally to three silver and four bronze. Sakshi Malik and surprise-package Divya Kakran accounted for other silver medals.

After having been taken away in a stretcher in the Rio Olympics last year, Vinesh had worked her way back with courage, after the knee surgery. Vinesh, who has had a fantastic run despite moving to the 55 kg section from 48 kg, fought back well to bridge the gap to 4-8 against Japanese Sae Nanjo in the gold medal match.

Vinesh had done a brilliant job, beating Sevara Eshmuratova of Uzbekistan by a technical fall 10-0 in the quarterfinals and Qi Zhang of China 4-0 in the semifinals.

In contrast, Sakshi had to endure the ignominy of being beaten in two minutes and 44 seconds by a technical fall as Olympic champion Risako Kawai of Japan ran up a 10-0 lead, in the 60 kg final. Sakshi made a steady start in the morning, claiming the first bout 6-2 against Nabira Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan. She continued to do well as she won by a technical fall, 15-3, against Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazakhstan.

Divya Kakran was pinned down midway through the second round in the 69-kg final by Olympic champion Sara Dosho of Japan. Divya was impressive earlier, as she beat Chen-Chi Huang of Chinese by a fall and Hyeonyeong Park of Korea 12-4 in the semifinals.

In the 48kg class, Ritu Phogat got a walkover from Yanan Sun of China in the bronze medal match. Ritu had won two bouts in the morning, 11-4 against Narangerel Erdenesukh of Mongolia followed by a technical fall, 10-0 against Yeon-Jin Kim of Korea.

However, she was outclassed by the eventual gold medallist Yuli Susaki of Japan 9-0 in the semifinals.

Pinki was the only Indian wrestler to bow out without a medal. She, too, started on a promising note beating Thi Hang Vu of Vietnam in the first round. Pinki lost by a technical fall 10-0 to Qianyu Pang of China in the quarterfinals, and did not get a chance thereafter as the Chinese lost the semifinal.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 9:19:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/vinesh-phogat-goes-down-fighting/article18439900.ece

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