Shivani Pawar joins elite group of Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya at U23 World Wrestling Championship, wins silver in Belgrade

Shivani Pawar wins silver medal at the U23 Worlds. (©UWW)
Shivani Pawar wins silver medal at the U23 Worlds. (©UWW)
Rishabh Chauhan

Shivani Pawar on Thursday joined the elite companies of Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya at the U23 Wrestling World Championships. It happened after she won silver in the women’s 50kg weight class. India’s Anju won India’s second medal, winning bronze in the women’s 55kg division.

Shivani Pawar got an early takedown to open the scoring against junior world champion Erica Shilson of the USA. However, the American, who has won gold at every age-group level, pulled an unexpected four-point throw and pinned Shivani Pawar’s shoulders in the same move to continue her dominance.

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While the final ended in disappointment for the Indian, Shivani Pawar showed promise throughout the competition. Largely unheralded prior to the competition, she had made a comeback from 0-9 down to pinning her opening bout.

She also pinned U23 European champion Mariia Tiumerekova of Russia in the semi-final.

Her silver medal was one of just seven won by Indian wrestlers at the U-23 worlds. It puts her in elite company alongside Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya.

Anju joins Shivani Pawar in medal list

Anju, on the other hand, bounced back superbly from the disappointment of her semi-final match. She won by just a solitary point 5-4 in her final match of the competition against Virginie Kaze of Canada. It wasn't as if she didn't have to struggle though.

The former U23 Asian Championship silver medalist opened the scoring but conceded six points on the trot. She trailed 6-2 in the first period.

However, she continued to put the pressure on the Canadian and it took a toll on her opponent. Anju scored off a pushout and then got a takedown and turned to her opponent to score another four.

Anju continued the pace in the second period as the Canadian looked for a breather. The Indian scored another 10 points all from takedowns, to seal a technical superiority win of 17-6.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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