WFI comes down hard on women wrestlersAugust 13, 2022
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is not pleased that four Indian women wrestlers could not take advantage of a weak field at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games and missed out on gold.
All 12 Indian wrestlers won medals at the Games, returning with six gold, a silver and five bronze.
But among the women, only Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik won gold in the 53kg and 62kg freestyle, respectively, while Anshu Malik (57kg) returned with silver. Pooja Gehlot (50kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) and Pooja Sihag (76kg) settled for bronze despite the low level of competition. In the 50kg category, only six wrestlers competed. Gehlot lost her bout to Canada’s Madison Bianca Parks before winning the bronze playoff.
The 76kg category had eight wrestlers, while the 68kg class featured nine wrestlers, in which minnows like Bangladesh, Mauritius, Cameroon, Tonga and New Zealand were part of the field. However, the biggest disappointment for the WFI has got to be Anshu, who was the hot favourite to win gold. She lost 3-7 to African champion Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye in the final.
“It was not a great show by our women wrestlers. If you are not winning in such a weak field, what does it reflect on your performance,” said a WFI official. “We are going to sit with the wrestlers and review the performance. Anshu could not even launch a proper attack against a much older opponent. Wrestlers must think about it. India is certainly a powerhouse in CWG but I don’t think it reflected properly in our results,” the official added.