India’s Bhateri (65kg) and Sanju Devi (62kg) bagged silver medals in their women’s wrestling categories at the Junior Wrestling World Championships in Ufa, Russia, on Thursday while Saneh (72kg) suffered a horrific injury to her knee in the bronze medal bout.
The women’s wrestling events came to a close for India with three silver and two bronze medals. Bipasha (76kg) had won silver on Thursday, while Simran (50kg) and Sito (55kg) won bronze. In the men’s freestyle section, India finished with one silver and five bronze medals.
Sanju Devi had a tough ask against the junior European Champion and home wrestler Alina Kasabieva. The Russian dominated from the word go but the Indian showed good defence early on. But towards the end of the first period, once Kasabieva got hold of Devi’s ankles, it was over in no time. Sanju Devi had managed comeback wins in her previous bouts but couldn’t manage that here.
Bhateri was up against Irina Ringaci from Moldova who is already a senior European champion. The Indian recovered well from early pressure that saw her go down 0-4, to make the deficit 2-4 and close the gap down further. But the Moldovan turned the attack around to extend her lead and then stamped her authority towards the end.
In the 72kg bronze medal match, Saneh was trailing in the first period against her Russian opponent Mariam Guseinova but it was a close affair until the injury happened. The Russian wrestler attempt a leg attack and it saw Saneh’s right knee buckle under pressure and the Indian knew immediately she was in big trouble, banging the mat in pain. The bout was stopped and after a few minutes of treatment, she was stretchered off in tears.
Women's wrestling (Junior Worlds) standings
Earlier on Thursday, Sanju Devi was quick with her moves and reflexes as she beat Germany’s Lusia Schrel 5-2 and then erased a 0-3 deficit to edge past Croatia’s Iva Geric 4-3 in the quarter-finals. In the semi-final too she was down 0-5 but relied on her stamina to win 8-5 against Azerbaijan’s Birgul Soltanova.
In her earlier bouts on Thursday, Bhateri won two low-scoring encounters to reach the 65kg final. She just about managed to get the points that were enough to win. She beat Tunisia’s Jlassi Khadija and Romania’s Amina Roxana Capezan.
Saneh (72kg) hardly had any problem in beating Kseniya Patapovich of Belarus 6-2 in her opening round on Thursday and remained untroubled against Mongolia’s Tsogzolmaa Dorjsuren, winning 7-0. Saneh’s four-pointer on a double-leg attack stood out. However she was blown away by American Kennedy Alexix Baldes, who pulled off a grand amplitude throw at the beginning to stun the Indian and won by technical superiority.
Unfortunately for her, the event ended in heartbreak.
India’s Greco Roman wrestlers struggled as none of the five in action on Friday could make it past the round of 16 stage and none of them are eligible for repechage either.