Grappler Divya Kakran becomes the second Indian woman ever to win a gold medal at the Asian Championships. In a very close match, Jakarta Asian Games bronze medallist, Divya won the round against Japan’s Naruha Matsuyuki 6-4 in the women’s 68kg. Two other wrestlers, Pinki and Sarita Mor continued the golden run by winning gold medals in the 55kg and 59kg categories respectively on Thursday. However, Nirmala Devi missed out on the gold and had to settle down for a silver medal in the 50kg category.

So far, Kakran has beaten all four of her opponents by fall. In the first round, she silenced Kazakhstan’s Albina Kairgelinova before defeating Mongolian Delgermaa Enkksaikhan. Sarita clinched gold after beating Mongolia’s Battseteg Atlantsetseg 3-2 in 59kg freestyle final.

Navjot Kaur was the first Indian woman gold medallist in the history of the Asian Championships before Divya Kakran. She secured gold in 2018 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Divya Kakran became the second Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships.
  • Indian women are dominating the Asian Championships with Sarita Mor and Pinki winning gold, and Nirmala Devi clinching a silver medal.
  • Disappointing for Vinesh Phogat as she fails to avenge her loss at the World Championships to Japan’s Mayu Mukaida. Phogat lost 6-2 in her first match.

‘I have improved on my range’

Speaking on her win, young wrestler Divya said “If you have a 5-wrestler group it becomes even tougher, you have fight everyone and win big. I won 4 bouts within 2 hours. It was tough on my body but the good thing is I have improved on my range, I made all kinds of attacks, Irani, Kheme, single-led, double leg attacks, the moves on which I had spent hours practicing.”

2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and 11-time Senior National Champion, Nirmala Devi lost to two-time world U-23 champion Miho Igarashi of Japan in a closely fought battle by 3-2.

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Two More Golds

Sarita (59Kg) stood strong against Mongolian opponent Battseteg Atlantsetseg and won the battle 3-2 to emerge victoriously and walk away with India’s third gold medal of the day.

“I last won silver at the 2017 edition of the Asian Championship. To be able to go one step further is a huge moment and it is the biggest win of my career”, said an elated Sarita after her win.

Pinki, a debutant at the senior Asian championship, won her semifinal against Marina Zuyeva 6-0 and beat Mongolia’s Dulguun Bolormaa 2-1 to grab the gold.

“I was a bit careful because I had injured my elbow. I did not want to aggravate since important events are lined up,” said Pinki.

On Friday, Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat was in action in the 53kg category, she lost to Japan’s Mayu Mukaida 6-2 in her first match at the Asian Championships.

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Though Indian sportswomen dominated the day, the final day of the Women’s competition will see top wrestlers fighting it out for the podium finishes in the 53Kg, 57Kg, 62Kg, 65Kg, 72Kg categories respectively.

Watch this space for more updates.

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Feature Image Credit: Twitter and UWW

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