World Wrestling Championships 2022: Vinesh Phogat clinches bronze; Nisha Dahiya remains in contention for medal-Sports News , Firstpost

Vinesh Phogat with WFI coach Randhir Malik after winning the World Wrestling Championships bronze medal in Belgrade on Wednesday. Screenshot/UWW

Vinesh Phogat defeated Sweden’s Jonna Malmgren 8-0 in the final of the 53kg repechage round to clinch the bronze medal at the World Wrestling Championships 2022 in Belgrade on Wednesday.

Vinesh opened her account with two points in the first minute of the opening half. The remaining of the half saw Vinesh cautiously giving away no points while going into the 30-second break with 2-0 lead.

The 28-year-old Indian dominated the second half with some comfort as she picked the next six points within two minutes to win the bout 8-0 (VPO: Points without the opponent scoring).

The victory comes for Vinesh after she lost her opening bout on Tuesday and had to face criticism before luck favoured her with repechage round option opened for her.

Nisha Dahiya remains in medal contention

In the other Indian women’s wrestling bout on the day, Nisha Dahiya prominently kept herself in the medal run of the 68kg category. The 24-year-old wrestler showcased strong form on the day as she defeated all her rivals convincingly before narrowly losing her semifinal bout.

Nisha defeated Danute Domikaityte (11-0), Adela Hanzlikcova (13-8) and Sofiya Georgieva (11-0) to book her semis spot. Facing Japan’s Ami Ishii, who won the U-20 World title earlier this year,  Nisha looked favourite to take the bout as she took lead twice in the bout. However, the Japanese fought well to clinch the encounter in the closing seconds to qualify for the final.

All other Indian women wrestlers competing on the day, couldn’t go the distance and had to return empty-handed. This included last year’s bronze medallist (59kg) Sarita Mor, who lost in the 57kg pre-quarters to Poland’s Anhelina Lysak  Apart from her, Mansi Ahlawat lost in the 59kg quarterfinals to World No. 1 Jowita Maria Wrzesien (5-3). Both Lysak and Wrzesien lost in the semifinals; closing the repechage round doors for the Indians.

Earlier on Tuesday, Vinesh suffered a shock defeat to Asian Championship silver medallist Khulan Batkhuyag (Mongolia) in the qualification round as the former World No. 1 lost 7-0 in her first bout of the tournament.

Batkhuyag, however, went all the way to the final while opening Vinesh’s door to the repechage round that were scheduled on Wednesday.

The three-time CWG gold medallist had little difficulty in reaching the final. Vinesh defeated 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist Zhuldyz Eshimova (Kazakhstan) by fall (4-0) to reach the second round, where she earned a walkover with her opponent Leyla Gurbanova (Azerbaijan) opting out.

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