Star Indian women wrestler Vinesh Phogat garnered her first gold in the in the 53kg category in Wrestling Grand Prix, with Divya Kakran doing the same in 63kg category. India finished second with 130 points after Russia as Sakshi Malik withdrew from tournament owing to injury.
The Indian wrestling contingent was expected to be one of the serious contenders in the tournament and the outcome wasn’t grim as they finished only after Russia, who had 165 points in the end.
Phogat and Kakran remained India’s star performers with their respective gold medals. Competing only in her third tournament since shifting to the new category and gave encouraging vibes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games. Phogat has previously competed in Asian Championship and Dan Kolov in the 53kg category and could manage a bronze and silver.
This time, she competed against Peru’s Justina Benites and Russia’s Nina Minkenova before meeting Dutch rival Jessica Blaszka and neither of them seemed to bother her much. The Asiad gold medalist didn’t lose a single point until the final where Blaszka took six points off the bout.
Kakran, on the other hand, lost just four points in her entire campaign and was clearly dominant in the final as she blanked Poland’s Agnieszka Wieszczek-Kordus. Competing in the 57kg category, Pooja Dhanda won a silver after losing to Russia’s Veronika Chumikova.
Apart from them, Seema (50kg), Manju Kumari (59kg) and Kiran (76kg) also won silver medals losing to Poland’s Iwona Matkowska, Russia’s Liubov Ovcharova and Ksennia Burakova, respectively. With Malik pulling out of the tournament, India’s challenge had dimmed a bit.
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