Dominating the proceedings in a depleted field, three Indian wrestlers, including Olympic-bound Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and young Anshu Malik (57kg), reached their respective finals at the Asian Championship in Almaty on Friday while Divya Kakran assured herself the gold medal through her wins in the group stage.
Karan (72kg), who was a champion in 2020 edition as well in New Delhi in the 68kg category, won both of her round-robin matches, to assured herself top-place on the podium, reported United World Wrestling.
The bouts included an 8-5 victory over 72kg defending champion Zhamila Bakbergenova (KAZ) to assure she would come away with the gold regardless of the outcome of her final match in the night session on Friday, according to UWW.
There was no stopping Vinesh in the absence of the Chinese and Japanese rivals as she cruised to the summit round without losing a point and can now win her first gold medal at the continental championship.
Vinesh has had seven podium finishes at the Asian meet over the years, including three silver medals.
She won by technical superiority against Mongolia’s Otgonjargal Ganbaatar and Taipei’s Meng Hsuan Hsieh while an injured Hyunyoung Oh from Korea did not turn up for the semifinal.
Vinesh, who had won a bronze in the Delhi edition of the Continental championship last year, will now face Hsieh in the final.
Continuing her impressive rise, Anshu, who booked an Olympic quota for herself only few days back at the same venue, reached the summit clash with ease.
The 19-year-old won her first two bouts by technical superiority against Uzbekistan’s Sevara Eshmuratova and Kyrguzstan’s Nazira Marsbek Kyzy to reach the semifinal.
Her quick moves and tremendous energy had her rivals gasping for breath.
Up against Mongolia’s Battsetseg Altantsetseg, she was leading 9-1 when the referee awarded the ‘victory by caution’ to the Indian. The Mongolian was cautioned thrice.
She will fight for gold against the same Mongolian rival.
Also reaching the final was Sakshi Malik, who is competing in 65kg, having missed her claim in her pet 62kg category.
Competing much better than she was doing in trials, the Rio Games bronze medallist won her first two bouts by technical superiority and was leading 3-0 against Hanbit Lee when the Korean suffered a knee injury and opted out of the contest.
She will fight for gold Mongolia’s Bolortungalag Zorigt.
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