New Delhi: Sakshi Malik bagged a silver medal for India in the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championship after losing to Japan’s Risako Kawai in women’s 60kg category.

Sakshi looked a little out of touch as she went down to the Rio Games gold medallist in 63kg category Kawai 10-0 in just 2 minutes and 44 seconds. Sakshi, who created history by becoming the first Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal – with a bronze – last year, could not counter the challenge from the strong Japanese grappler.

Risako Kawai who had two gold medals in the Championships, one in the 58 kg section in 2014 and another in 63 kg in 2016, was also one of four Japanese women to win wrestling gold medals at Rio 2016 as she dominated the 63 kg category.

This was Malik’s second medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships after the bronze that she won in the 58 kg category at the Championships in Doha in 2015.

Malik was competing at an international event for the first time since she won the Olympic bronze in the 58 kg section at Rio in 2016. For this event, however, she wrestled in the 60 kg category and had won her spot in the main draw after defeating Manju 10-0 by a technical fall.

The JSW-sponsored athlete kicked her section of the draw off against Nabira Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan. Malik appeared a tad rusty but shrugged it off as she registered a comfortable 6-2 victory to head on to the semifinals.

If she appeared a bit off colour in her initial bout, there were no signs of it in her semifinal against Ayaulym Kassymova, also from Uzbekistan. She came flying out of the blocks to secure a 6-0 lead in the opening period.

In the second period, she lead 8-0 and was on the verge of a win by points when her opponent managed to put up three points on the board. Kassymova proved to be no match for Malik however, as she reeled off seven points in succession as the match was stopped with the 24-year old Indian 15-3 ahead.