World Wrestling Championship 2017: India’s bad run continues on Day 3, wait for first medal still on
A lot would be riding on Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat when they step on the mat on Thursday.
India suffered a medal drought on the third consecutive day after half of its women freestyle wrestlers—Lalita, Pooja Dhanda, Shilpi and Pooja—lost their respective matches with little or no fight to crash out of the 2017 World Wrestling Championship being held in Paris.
Pooja Dhanda stormed past the qualifying stage by an impressive 4-0 win against France's Sonia Baudin in just 36 seconds. Her second match, too, seemed like a cakewalk as she moved around the mat unchallenged 8-0 in the initial two minutes against China’s Ningning Rong in the 58kg women’s category.
But then, in a blink of an eye, the Chinese hurricane blew Dhanda away. In a stunningly swift move, Rong caught hold of her waist and flipped her over once, twice, and thrice on the mat to gain six vital points. The mammoth difference was soon reduced to a mere two points. From there on, the Indian never really could get into the game and gave away four more points to lose out on the advantage.
Meanwhile, Lalita Sehrawat eased past the first round of the 55kg women’s qualifier after Poland's Paula Kozlow twisted her shoulder. However, the 23-year-old grappler, who won the silver medal in 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, faced tough resistance from Russia's Maria Gurova in the Stage 1/8 match, and finally, lost 3-0.
In the 75 kg category, Pooja won her first match 6-1 against Samar Hamza of Egypt, but couldn’t really pose a challenge to Canada's Justina Di Stasio and went down 7-0.
Shilpi Sheoran, wife of wrestler Narsingh Yadav, the 2015 Wrestling Championship bronze medallist, was not match for a technically superior Orkhon Purevdorj of Mongolia 10-0 in the 63kg category.
According to a Mid-Day report, Yadav personally mentored and trained her wife Sheoran for the Wrestling Championships, seeking redemption in her win. The court cases, trial demands, and ultimately, the doping ban had plunged him into a “huge depression” and he wished that her wife’s win would “heal those wounds to some extent.”
A lot would be riding on Vinesh Phogat (48kg) and Sakshi Malik (60kg) to deliver glory to their medal-starved countrymen on Thursday. Their comrade-in-arms Sheetal Tomar (53kg) and Navjot Kaur (69kg), too, would be looking to spring a surprise when they step on to the mat and get their hands on that elusive first medal.