India women will return empty-handed from the junior world wrestling championship for the first time in three years after Bharti Baghel squandered a 3-1 lead to lose her bronze medal bout against Kyrgyzstan’s Nuraida Anarkulova at Tallinn on Friday.
It was Bharti who was more attacking as she opened up a 2-0 lead with a takedown and ended the first period with a 2-1 lead in the 57kg clash.
She added one more point to her tally with a push out but Nuraida held the Indian by locking her arms and soon found a takedown to make it 3-3. Since she scored the final point, Nuraida was declared winner.
Pooja also had a chance to be in medal contention in the 53kg category but she lost her repechage round 1-6 to Uzbekistan’s Shokhida Akhmedova.
This year only Bharti and Anshu Malik reached the medal round. Anshu, who won a bronze last year in the last edition in Slovakia, had lost her bronze medal bout on Thursday.
The last time Indian women returned without a single medal was in 2016 edition in Macon, France. In the 2018 edition apart from Anshu (59kg), Mansi (57kg) had returned with bronze medal while Manju Kumari (59kg) was the lone Indian woman medallist from the 2017 edition.
Among Greco Roman wrestlers, two-time medallist Sajan Bhanwal lost the 77kg quarter-final 3-7 to Iran’s Mohammad Aziz Naghousi but remains in contention for a bronze.
He has to beat Estonia’s Ranet Kaljola in the repechage round to progress to the medal bout. Similarly, Sunil Kumar (87kg) and Aawesh Kumar (130kg) need to clear their repechage rounds.
Sunil needs to get the better of American Cameron Andrew Caffey while Aawesh is up against Dariusz Attila Vitek from Hungary. In the 55kg, Vijay lost her pre-quarterfinal on technical superiority to Armenia’s Tigran Minasyan. Pravesh lost in the qualification round in 63kg to Bulgaria’s Nikalas Petrov Sulev.