New Delhi: Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat lost to her Japanese rival Mayu Mukaida in the quarter-final of the women’s 53 kg category at the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi on Friday. Vinesh will now face Thi Ly Kieu of Vietnam in the bronze medal match later in the day.
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, however, reached the final of the non-Olympic 65 kg category. She is thus the only Indian who will fight for gold on Friday at the KD Jadhav wrestling hall.
This is the third consecutive time that Vinesh has lost to Mukaida with her previous loss ending her chance to win a silver at the wrestling World Championships 2019. Mukaida took a 2-0 lead with an attack on Vinesh’s right leg and the score remained the same at the interval.
A few more attacks on the leg and Mukaida raced to a 6-0 lead in the early exchanges of the second period. Vinesh could only manage two points after that.
Sakshi started with a loss to Japan’s Naomi Ruike but went on to beat Korea’s Ohyoung Ha by technical superiority which helped her reach the semi-final. She beat Uzbekistan’s Nabira Esenbaeva 5-4.
In the 57 kg category, India’s Anshu was beaten by Japan’s Risako Kawai in the semi-final and will fight it out for bronze against Uzbekistan’s Sevara Eshmuratova. Sonam defeated Korea’s Hanbit Lee by fall in her first match in the 62 kg category but lost 5-2 to Yuko Kawai of Japan in the semis. She faces Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the bronze medal match.
Gursharan Preet Kaur won her first match against Svetlana Oknazarova of Uzbekistan by technical superiority in the 72 kg category. It helped her go through to the semi-final despite a loss in the next match to Zhamila Bakbergenova of Kazhakstan. Gursharan was beaten by Japan’s Mei Shindo in the semi-final and will now face Tsevegmed Enkhbayar of Mongolia in the bronze medal match.
Feb 21 (IANS)