The nine-member Indian women's squad will represent the country at World Wrestling Championships 2022, which will take place in Belgrade, Serbia, next month. Tokyo Olympians Vinesh Phogat and Sonam Malik topped their trials on Monday in Lucknow, which ensured they booked a berth for the event.
Vinesh, who previously this month at the Commonwealth Games won a hat-trick of gold medals, faced off in the 53 kg final against freshly crowned U20 world champion Antim Panghal. Phogat had to work hard to defeat Antim Panghal in the CWG trials earlier in May, but on Monday she faced an easier opponent and blanked her 7-0 to clinch her spot on the Indian wrestling squad.
At the 17th edition of the world championships, which will take place from September 10 to 18, Vinesh Phogat, who won bronze at the 2019 global championships, will try for her second medal. In the 62kg division, Sonam Malik, a two-time cadet world champion, took Sakshi Malik's place as the bronze medalist from Rio 2016 by defeating Manisha 2-1 in the championship match.
Sonam Malik, 20, won silver at the just-completed U20 world championships, but she has yet to take home a seniors medal on the international stage. Due to a niggle, Sakshi Malik opted out of the trials. Sarita Mor, the world No. 1 in the 59 kg weight class and bronze medalist in the global championships, qualified for the 57 kg weight class by defeating Lalita 4-0 in the final.
Pooja Dhanda, another bronze medalist from the world championships, was defeated 2-0 by Mansi Ahlawat and relinquished the 59kg berth. Mansi Ahlawat, who has been in excellent shape this year, won the gold medal in the Almaty Ranking Series in June without dropping a point in the overall standings.
Sushma Shokeen, who won the bronze medal at the Asian championships, edged Pinky in the 55 kg division by winning the last point in a 3-3 tie. Priyanka (76 kg), silver medalist at the U20 global championships, and Reetika (72 kg), bronze medalist, were among those who qualified for the world championships.
Pooja Gehlot (50 kg), Divya Kakran (68 kg), and Pooja Sihag (76 kg), all bronze medalists in the CWG, did not participate in the trials. Men's world championship tryouts are now taking place in New Delhi and will end on Tuesday. With the exception of Bajrang Punia (65 kg), Ravi Dahiya (57 kg), and Deepak Punia (86 kg), who won a gold medal at the recently finished Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the men's trials will be contested for all 10 weight categories.
Ankush (50kg), Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Sushma Shokeen (55kg), Sarita Mor (57kg), Mansi Ahlawat (59kg), Sonam Malik (62kg), Shefali (65kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg), Reetika (72kg) and Priyanka (76kg).