India had a Silver day on Friday when two of the Indian Wrestler, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, scored silver medals in the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championship in their respective weight categories.
There were total three woman wrestler participants from India, who lost their title to Japanese wrestlers who appear too strong for the Indian ladies to deal with.
Ritu Phogat secured a Bronze medal in her category (48 kg). She did not have to fight as her opponent Sun Yanan of China has to opt out of the third place because of an injury during the tournament.
Sakshi Malik (60 kg) & Divya Kakran (69 kg) were a major disappointment as the two did not fight at all during their 6 minutes bouts with their opponents. However, Vinesh (55 kg) portrayed a great show before she finally went down.
It was the first championship after Sakshi won Bronze in the Rio Olympics. However, Sakshi appeared a bit rusty as she did not perform against her opponent Risako Kawai in the women’s 60kg category gold medal bout. Sakshi was taken down by Risako Kawai in just 2 minutes 44 seconds with a score of 0-10.
“Kawai is a very experienced wrestler and an Olympic gold medallist. It was a really good learning experience for me. I am happy to have bagged a silver after returning to action after Rio Games and marriage. Though I feel I could have done better,” said Sakshi after the medal ceremony.
Vinesh too had a comeback after an injury lay-off and was seen battling hard to have a take upon her strong and swift opponent from Japan, Sae Nanjo. She settled at 4-8 to take home the Silver Medal.
Vinesh, the 22-year-old wrestler from India, had a great day before the Gold Medal Bout. She defeated Sevara Eshmuratova of Uzbekistan 10-0 in the quarterfinal before thrashing China’s Qi Zhang 4-0 in the semifinal making her way to the finals.
Vinesh usually fights in the 48kg or 53kg category but choose the 55kg category for the Asian Wrestling Championship. She says, she is happy for scoring silver and it was a great learning experience.
“Competing in 55kg and winning a silver is satisfying. I am happy to be back on the mat,” said Vinesh. She also said that she would join back 48kg category for upcoming tournaments.