Pooja Dhanda became the first Indian woman wrestler to claim a bronze medal for India at the Wrestling World Championships after six years on Thursday.
The 24-year-old wrestler from Haryana clinched her first World Championships medal by beating Grace Bullen of Norway 10-7 in the bronze medal playoff bout.
India have had three women who have previously won a medal at Worlds namely Alka Tomar (2006), Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat (2012). The three wrestlers also won a bronze.
Dhanda’s bronze came on the last day of the women’s wrestling in the 57kg category. She had lost to Ningning Rong in the quarterfinals on Wednesday and reached the bronze medal bout through repechage.
Against Bullen, Dhanda began on cautious note and was even penalised for being passive. But she went into the break with a 6-1 lead having come up with a point throw, followed by a leg lace on Bullen.
Bullen did get a pushout and later a caution point on Dhanda in the second half. She followed it with a takedown but Dhanda produced another 4 point throw. She led 10-3 with a minute remaining in the bout.
Bullen got a stepout and Dhanda was penalised for that. Bullen needed two more stepouts from Dhanda to get her disqualified.
The Indian wrestler was playing with fire as she was penalised again for going out of the ring. But she managed to survive the final minute and win the bout 10-7.
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