Sakshi Malik enters final at Asian Wrestling Championships

May 12, 2017


NEW DELHI: Three Indian women wrestlers, including Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, cruised into the gold medal round of their respective weight categories with comfortable victories in the Asian Wrestling Championships on Friday.

Divya Kakran was the third Indian girl to have made the final of the women’s 69kg category.

Sakshi, winner of TOISA Wrestler of the Year Award, Vinesh and Divya are now assured of at least a silver medal each.

Competing for the first time in women’s 60kg category after jumping up the weight division from 58kg, Sakshi hardly had to break a sweat en route to the final.

The 24-year-old got the better of Nabira Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan 6-2 in the quarter-final and then defeated Ayaulym Kassymova 15-3 in her semi-final bout to storm into the gold medal round, scheduled later in the evening.

Even Vinesh (women’s 55kg) had it easy as she defeated Sevara Eshmuratova of Uzbekistan 10-0 in the quarters before thrashing China’s Qi Zhang 4-0.

A new girl on the block, Divya also put up an impressive show on her way to the gold medal round. She beat Chen-Chi Huang of Taipei 2-0 by fall verdict and then outplayed Hyeonyeong Park of Korea 12-4 in the semi-final.

However, Ritu Phogat (women’s 48kg) went down in her semi-final bout to Yui Susaki of Japan 0-9 to lose out on a place in the final but would fight for the bronze medal.

Pinki, meanwhile, was the lone Indian to have lost in the quarterfinal round of women’s 53kg to bow out of the tournament early.

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