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New Delhi, February 21, 2020
After Thursday's high, Indian women wrestlers were brought down to earth by the Japanese as the home grapplers failed to win any gold and had to be content with a silver and three bronze medals in the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships here on Friday.
Japanese grapplers filled the vacancies created by the absence of China and North Korea and had a lesson or two for the hosts. The fighters from the Land of Rising Sun from the very start of the day meant business and the first causality was the home side's biggest bet Vinesh Phogat.
The Indian was pitted against Japan’s Mayu Mukaida in the quarter-final. Vinesh was unable to break her losing streak against the Japanese and went down 2-6. She thrashed Thi Ly Kieu of Vietnam 10-0 for a consolation bronze.
This was Vinesh’s third straight loss to the Japanese, including quarter-final losses at the previous edition of this meet and the World Championships last year.
Mayu was much quicker and stronger and gave no quarter to her rival. Vinesh tried desperately but could not breach Mayu’s defensive hold. The Japanese, however, was unlucky in the final as she lost to Kazakh Tatyana Akhmetova Amanzhol.
Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik managed to win a silver but that was in non-Olympic 65kg category. She had lost the national trials in the 62kg and thus was forced to compete in the non-Olympic category.
Still with only six entrants in the draw, the Indian started favourite but she lost 1-2 to Naomi Ruike in an early bout but still managed to make it to the final and in re-match against Ruike she suffered a 0-2 loss in the title match and had to settle for a silver.
In the 57kg and 62kg categories, Anshu and Sonam were pitted against formidable Kawai sisters – Risako and Yukako respectively – and lost.
Anshu Malik settled for a bronze after beating Uzbekistan’s Sevara Eshmuratova in the 57kg category.
Sonam, who had defeated Sakshi in the trials, displayed a good tactical mind in her resounding win against Korea’s Hanbit Leebefore losing 2-5 to world bronze medalist Yukako Kawai. She ended up against Tynybekova in the bronze-medal playoff and lost 11-0 in the 72kg,
Yukako, then shocked world Champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan 6-1 in the quarterfinals, scoring four points with a throwdown in the final three second
In the non-olympic 72kg, Gursharanpreet Kaur beat Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Oknazarova but lost to Kazakhstan’s Zhamila Bakberzenova. Gursharanpreet however beat Mongloia’s Tsevegmed Enkhbayar to earn a bronze.