On a day when India’s best women wrestlers at the Asian Championships took to the mat, Vinesh Phogat and Sakhi Malik had to settle for Bronze medals.
Asian Games Gold medalist Vinesh Phogat, Olympic Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik, World Championship Bronze medalist Pooja Dhanda, Asian Wrestling championships Gold medalist Navjot Kaur, all failed to live up to their billing and could not make it to the Gold medal matches or the finals in their respective weight categories.
Vinesh Phogat was served the first shock of the day when she lost her opening bout in the 53kg quarterfinals when she was ousted on technical superiority of 10-0 by the unseeded Japanese Mayu Mukaida. After which she went through to the repechage and got past Chinese Taipei Jo Cih Chiu with a comfortable 6-0 win. She then avenged her Dan Kolov defeat against higher ranked Qianyu Pang of China with a convincing 8-1 win.
Sakshi Malik started the day with a narrow 7-7 win over Vietnam’s Thi Nguyen in the qualification round but was outclassed by Yukako Kawai of Japan 5-0 in the 62kg category quarterfinals. Sakshi Malik then regathered to defeat Jiae Choi of South Korea in the repechage round to move into the bronze medal play-off where she put up a resilient display to garner the bronze medal against Hyong Gyong Mun of North Korea with a 9-6 margin.
Pooja Dhanda and Navjot Kaur too made it to the Bronze medal playoffs via the repechage in the 57kg and 65 kg weight categories but failed to bring home any medal. The former lost 3-5 in the last 20 seconds of the bout after she suffered a takedown to Tserenchimed Sukee of Mongolia, While Kaur was completely overpowered by Kazakh Aina Temirtasova 7-0 in a one-sided bout.