Vinesh Phogat ended up a dream year for her by winning the 57kg national title at the Senior National Wrestling Championship held at Gonda in Uttar Pradesh. Another female wrestler Sakshi Malik also clinched the title in the 62kg category at the same event to end her terrible 2018.
Vinesh won the final against Babita in the second period by taking the score to 10-0 with more than two-and-a-half minutes left. She started her campaign with a 13-2 win over Chandigarh’s Neetu. Against Karnataka’s Sweta Balagatti in the next bout, it ended in two minutes as Vinesh effected a pin after leading 8-0.
She defeated Haryana’s Manisha in the quarter-final clash on technical superiority while in the semi-final clash she got the better of Ravita from the same state in 76 seconds only. It was her sixth national title and he gave away only a couple of points in the entire championship.
“I could compete as I wanted. I wanted some competitive matches before the next season. Also, I felt no pain in the entire campaign, that’s a big gain personally since I was competing in a higher category. I started practising only 15 days back, so my rehabilitation has worked nicely,” Vinesh told The Scroll.
“The first girl (Neetu) was very powerful and I lost two points due to my mistake. Two other girls were good but I am more experienced than them and that definitely helped. The more they train with seniors at the camp, the better they will get.”
Sakshi won the title in the 62kg category after a poor run in the entire year as the final clash ended in only 25 seconds after her opponent Anita suffered a left knee injury. She had started her campaign with a walkover as well against Apoorva and then won the next against Pooja Tomar by technical superiority. She also won the bout against Manipur’s A Luwang Khombi in just 43 seconds. She made it to the final by getting the better of Poona from Haryana 11-0.
“This is not something big but I will take it. There was not much competition because most of the rivals were junior but any competition is good. I am more focused on next season and will start with Asian Championship,” said Sakshi.
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