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Sports


World Wrestling: Vinesh bags bronze; first to qualify for Olympics, Pooja fails to create history

Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan), Sep 18 (UNI) Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat (53kg) won the historic bronze at the World Wrestling Championship and also secured ticket for 2020 Tokyo Olympics here on Wednesday while Pooja Dhanda 59 kg failed to create history after going down in the semi-finals to Liubov Ovcharova of Russia in a surprisingly one sided affair here on Wednesday.
Vinesh defeated Maria Prevolaraki of Greece in the bronze medal match fetching her the first medal at the World Championships.
She has now become the fourth Indian women wrestler to bag medal at World Championships and also is the first wrestler to book a ticket for the Tokyo Olympics.
In the repechage round Vinesh beat Yuliia Blahinya of Ukraine 5-0 and then outclassing world number 1 Sarah Hildebrandt of US 8-2 in the second to enter the qualifying for bronze medal contention and finally going past Maria Prevolaraki of Greece to clinch historic bronze for India.
"From past few years my quest for medal at the World Championship finally came true and I feel happy that I have earned the first quota for the country in wrestling for Tokyo Olympics, and my next aim is to win medal for the country at Olympics," said an elated Vinesh.
Earlier in morning in first round of repechage Vinesh nailed Yuliia Blahinya of Ukraine 5-0, earlier on Tuesday Vinesh was beaten 0-7 by Japan's Mayu Mukaida in the pre-quarter-final, but after Mukaida reached the finals, it opened the doors for Vinesh to enter the repechage round.
In the second round of repechage it was not an easy match against Sarah Hildebrandt and five time defending Olympic silver medallist grabbed her right leg, but then Vinesh gained control over her opponent and finally won the bout.
Meanwhile in the 59kg category, Pooja Dhanda went down fighting against Russia's Liubov Ovcharova in the semi-final. The Indian was completely outplayed and Ovcharova cruised to a win via a technical superiority to a commanding 10-0 triumph.
Earlier, Dhanda showed great character in the quarterfinals where she defeated Yuzuka Inagaki of Japan. Inagaki is the current Asian Champion and 2019 Junior World Champion.
Pooja had made her way to the semis with a resounding 11-8 win over reigning Asian champion Yuzuka Inagaki. Pooja had earlier secured a 12-2 win over Katsiaryna Hanchar-Yanushkevich in the first round. However, she wasn't in the fray for an Olympic quota as the 59kg category is a non-Olympic category.
Dhanda who won the bronze medal at the last world wrestling championships in Budapest in 2018 will once again take a shot at the bronze medal on Thursday and will face Uzbekistan or Chinese wrestler.
In 50 kg Seema Bisla lost 3-11 to Ekaterina Poleshchuk in the second round of repechage. With this defeat her hopes of Olympic quota ends and is out of bronze medal fray.
In 57 kg Sarita Mor went down 1-5 Anastasia Nichita while Kiran 76 kg lost 4-5 to Germany's Aline Rotter-Focken in the qualification round. Navjot Kaur 65 kg also went down in the first round.
Pooja will fight for bronze medal while Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik 62 kg and Divya Kakran 68 kg will begin their campaign on Thursday.
UNI XC NC2023
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