HomeNewsPooja Dhanda Wins Bronze at the World Championships; Sakshi, Ritu Return Empty...

Pooja Dhanda Wins Bronze at the World Championships; Sakshi, Ritu Return Empty Handed

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Becomes the first Indian woman wrestler to win a medal at the World Championship in 6 years 

Ajmer Singh, the father of a relatively unknown wrestler, Pooja Dhanda, watched on nervously as his daughter fought it out against a much experienced Grace Jacob Bhullen of Norway at the World Wrestling Championship here in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

However, by the end of the match, he was a relieved man. His daughter was successful in winning India’s first medal, a bronze, at this year’s world championship – An achievement many top wrestlers have failed to achieve.

The Match

Pooja was competing in the 57 kg bronze medal match. Her opponent, a seasoned wrestler and a 2014 Youth Olympic Champion, unsurprisingly started the match strongly.

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It seemed as though the Norwegian was making amends for missing the final berth, as she put up multiple leg attacks. Dhanda was understandably nervous.

Image Source: First Post

However, she was not only successful in parrying her opponent’s sudden outburst of attack, but she also managed to win a couple of points in counter-attacking. Pooja thus had 4-1 lead initially.

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She improved upon her lead by winning two more straight points to make the score 6-1 in her favour. From then, with a comfortable 5 point cushion between
The score now became 10-2.

However, Bhullen was not going to let go of the contest so easily. She showed why she won the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, as she herself 6 points on the trot. But it was too late to have any impact on the result, as Pooja was more than able to restrict the onslaught. In the end, those 4 points that Pooja won in counter-attacks, made the difference between the two wrestlers. By full time, the score sheet read 10-7, as Pooja clinched India’s first women’s bronze medal at the current World Championships.

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Before her, only three other Indian wrestlers have managed to achieve the feat – Alka Tomar in 2006, Geeta Phogat in 2012 and Babita Phogat in 2012.

A Successful Comeback

This has been a big season for the 24-year-old wrestler from Hisar. Earlier this year, she won a silver at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The two medals she has won this year would be of big importance to her, as Pooja had suffered a serious ACL injury that kept her away from the sport for two years.

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Overall, this was India’s second medal at the ongoing championship, with Bajrang Punia having won a silver medal in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category.

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Monish Gadiya
Monish Gadiya is the Head of Content at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to all the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in Civil Engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.


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