India’s star medallist Sakshi is crashed out of the repechage round after facing a defeat at the hands of Marianna Sastin in 62 kg category in the Wrestling World Championships, being played at Budapest. The Hungarian athlete won by 3-2 after Sakshi conceded a point with just a while ago after the final bell.
The disappointment was stored in for the Olympic champion as she earlier lost to the Japanese athlete Yukako Kawai, a two-time World Cup gold winner, by 2-16.
Ritu Phogat, who replaced her cousin Vinesh Phogat, has secured victory in her first repechage round by defeating Emilia Alina Vuc of Romania. Also, Pooja Dhanda won against Alyona Kolesnik of Azerbaijan, thus securing her contention for the bronze medal.
Ritu will now face Oksana Livach of Ukraine and Pooja will take on the Norwegian Grace Jacob Bullen in the bronze medal match slated to begin from 9:30 pm today (Thursday).
In spite of early defeats, the trio of Ritu, Sakshi and Pooja stayed in the hunt for a medal as the repechage rounds started today. As Ritu and Pooja lead their way to bag a bronze, Sakshi Malik turned down the expectations of the country by losing her repechage round.
Earlier, both star wrestlers of India, Sakshi Malik and Ritu Phogat faced turn-offs in the quarterfinals of the Wrestling World Championships, being played at Budapest. But even after the defeats, both athletes still had a chance to reach the bronze medal play-off.
Ritu Phogat, too, showed a below-par show in the quarter-final by losing to Yui Susaki, the 2017 World Champion in 48 category, but still managed to qualify for repechage round.
Ritu Malik gave a real tough fight but ultimately lost to her competitor Ayana Gempei, the 2017 U-23 World Champion and 2018 Wrestling World Cup gold medalist, yesterday.
Though, Malik again found a four-point move to the 9-6 lead. Rita Malik performed well, but the lack of exposure at the international stage affected performance.
Commonwealth Game medalist Pooja Dhanda, who earlier had lost by 3-4 to China’s Ningning Rong in the 57 kg category, still played against Azerbaijan’s Alyona Kolesnik and won the repechage round. She is heading strong for her bronze medal tonight.
Yesterday, another Indian wrestler Pinki participating in the World Championship under 53 kg category, lost her quarterfinal match to Katarzyna Krawczyk by 2-7.