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Pooja lights up day for India at World Championship with bronze medal

Pooja Dhanda became only the fourth Indian woman grappler to win a medal at the World Championship
Pooja Dhanda became only the fourth Indian woman grappler to win a medal at the World Championship
PTI
NEWS
Modified 25 Oct 2018, 23:43 IST
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Budapest (Hungary), Oct 25 (PTI) Pooja Dhanda became only the fourth Indian woman grappler to win a medal at the World Championship, grabbing a bronze with a stunning 10-7 win over the 2017 European champion Grace Jacob Bullen, here on Thursday.

One of the two wrestlers in a medal contention, the 24-year-old Pooja executed a four-point throw in each of the two periods in the 57kg contest to deliver the best performance of her career.

It is the second big medal for Pooja this season, having won a silver the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Only Alka Tomar (2006), Geeta (2012) and Babita Phogat (2012) have won bronze medals for India at the Worlds before Pooja's memorable medal victory.

She opened up a 4-1 lead with a throw, which she found on the counter-attack. She consolidated it with a roll and took a 6-1 lead after the end of the first period.

After conceding a point for a step out, Pooja Stunned the Norwegian with another four-point throw, to zoom to a 10-2 lead.

Grace reduced the gap with a takedown and a couple of push outs to put pressure on the Indian, who was cautioned twice. She somehow managed to avoid the third caution, holding off to lead.

She had earlier erased a three-point deficit to win her repechage round 8-3 against Alyona Kolesnik from Azerbaijan

Before Pooja's bout, Ritu Phogat lost her bronze medal bouts and none of the four Greco Roman grapplers could win even a single match.

Ritu had a chance to emulate her elder sisters -- Geeta and Babtia -- to win a Worlds medal but she lost the 50kg bronze play-off 5-10 to Ukraine's Oksana Livach.

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Coming from behind, she had beaten Romania's Emilia Alina Vuc in the repechage but the Ukrainian proved too strong for her.

Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik yet again failed to reach the medal round at a big-ticket event, losing the repechage round 2-3 to Hungary's Marianna Sastin. Sakshi had a 2-1 lead but failed to defend it for last seven seconds, playing too defensive.

The Greco Roman competition began today but none of the four wrestlers could win a match.

Vijay (55kg), Gaurav Shara (63kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg) and Harpreet Singh (82kg) all crashed out after losing their Qualification rounds

Published 25 Oct 2018, 23:43 IST
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