On a medal-filled day for Indian grapplers, Bipasha (women’s 76kg) reached the final while Ravinder (men’s 61kg freestyle) bagged silver medal at the Junior World Wrestling Championships in Ufa, Russia on Wednesday.
Bipasha reaching the women’s 76kg final keeps India’s gold medal hopes alive in this edition. No female wrestler has won a gold at the junior worlds from India, with three silver medals before. The last Indian female wrestler to reach the final at U20 Worlds was Ritu Phogat in 2014.
Three other men – Yash, Anirudh Kumar and Pruthviraj Patil – clinched bronze medals through repechage in their respective categories.
Ravinder was in the final and started well but was outwitted towards the end by his Iranian opponent. Up against a strong opponent in Rahman Mousa Amouzadkhalili, who had won the Yasar Dogu senior event in June this year, Ravinder was not allowed to make his attacking moves but was largely left to defend in the 61kg title clash. The Iranian kept Ravinder tangled in head and body locks to win comfortably 9-3.
Making full use of repechage route, Yash (74kg), Pruthvi Babasehb Patil (92kg) and Anirudh (125kg) grabbed bronze medals as India finished their men’s free style campaign with six medals overall. Gourav Baliyan (79kg) and Deepak (97kg) had won bronze on Tuesday.
In 74kg play-off, Yash first scored a confident 9-2 win over Armen Musikyan from Armenia and then pulled off a 12-6 win over Kyrgyzstan’s Stambul Zhanybek Uulu after trailing 2-5.
Yash changed the bout in the last 90 seconds with his timely quick moves. Stambul took the lead but Yash was quick to take advantage in a counterattack after his rival dropped his guard a bit.
Patil took bronze in 92kg after edging past Russia’s Ivan Kirillov 2-1 in the play-off. Patil was trailing on criteria after both wrestlers scored points on each others passivity but the Russian was imposed a point penalty for foul play, and that proved decisive.
Anirudh (125kg) also added a bronze to India’s tally with an impressive 7-2 win over Aydin Ahmadov from Azebaijan.
In the women’s competition, Bipasha was slow off the blocks but got better with each match. She managed a 6-3 win over Kazakhstan’s Dilnaz Mulkinova and then comfortably beat Mongolia’s Odbag Ulziibat 9-4 to reach the final.
Simran moved into the women’s 50kg semifinals with two dominant wins but lost the last-four stage match by technical superiority to formidable American Emily King Shilson. She will now fight for bronze.
Simran first beat Romania’s Georgiana Lavinia Antuca by technical superiority without conceding a point and then pulled off a victory by fall in the high-scoring quarterfinal against Gultakin Shirinova of Azerbaijan. The quarterfinal was fast with moves and counter moves across the two periods but eventually Simran got hold of Shirinova for a pin when she was leading 18-8.
In other women’s wrestling categories, Sito (55kg), Kusum (59kg) and Arju (68kg) lost their respective quarterfinals. But all three of them are active through repechage after their victors reached the finals.
(With PTI inputs)
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