There were mixed emotions for India on the fourth day of the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi as five Indian female grapplers qualified for the medal rounds and four ended up on the podium. But there was no Gold for the hosts.
The star of the evening for India, as expected, was Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi Malik. She managed to win the only silver of the day for India. Sakshi, competing in the 65 kg category, qualified for the final and faced Japan’s Naomi Ruike in the gold medal match. Unfortunately, despite putting up a great fight, the Indian wrestler lost by a narrow margin of 2-0.
After the event, Malik expressed her disappointment by saying, “I played better against her in the final than during the group stage. I tried in the end but couldn't capitalize.”
Another well-known name in the Indian delegation and a medal hopeful in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Vinesh Phogat in the 53 kg category, had to settle for Bronze. Still, she managed a very dominant performance in the bronze medal match by thrashing Vietnam’s Thi Ly Kieu 10-0.
“I'm striving hard to keep improving as there is no end to bettering oneself. I think I'm getting better. I have lost twice before against her without getting on the board. Today's bout was better. These things take time but I'm confident of improving,” an optimistic Phogat said after her performance.
Two other bronze medals came India’s way on the day courtesy Anshu Malik and Gursharan Preet Kaur in the 57 and 72 kg category respectively. Anshu won her first-ever Asian Championship medal after her victory over Uzbekistan’s Sevara Eshmuratova 4-1 while Gursharan got the better of Mongolia’s Tsevegmed Enkhbayar 5-2.
The one lady who failed to win anything from the medal rounds was Sonam who had a terrible time against Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan, losing 11-0 in the bronze medal match.