Vinesh Phogat Still In Contention For Bronze As Japan's Mayu Mukaida Reaches World Wrestling Championships Final
Vinesh Phogat went down to reigning world champion Mayu Mukaida of Japan but is still in contention for a repechage round bronze medal.
Vinesh Phogat remained in contention for a bronze medal via repechage round in the World Wrestling Championships after Mayu Mukaida of Japan, the opponent she lost to, reached the final on Tuesday. Mukaida had beaten top seed Sarah Hildebrandt of the US in the quarters. Vinesh will now not only battle it out for a bronze but also for Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualification. Vinesh had registered a second consecutive defeat against the Japanese this season after losing to the two-time world champion at the Asian Championship in China.
Vinesh has Commonwealth Games and Asian Games titles to her name but is yet to win a medal at the World Championships.
In another Olympic category, Seema Bisla (50kg) lost her pre-quarterfinal 2-9 to three-time Olympic medallist Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan. But she remained in contention for a bronze medal via repechage after the Azerbaijani, whom she lost to, reached the final.
In non-Olympic categories, Komal Gole was too defensive against Turkey's Beste Altug and lost her 72kg Qualification bout 1-4, while Lalita was outfoxed 3-10 by Mongolia's Bolortuya Bat Ochir in 55kg category.
Both Lalita and Komal are now out of the reckoning for a medal since Bolortuya and Altug later lost their respective quarterfinals.
Placed in an extremely tough 53kg bracket, Vinesh made a dominating start by outclassing Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sofia Mattsson, winning 13-0 in her opening round.
However, in the much-anticipated clash against world number two Mukaida, Vinesh could not be her usual attacking self and lost 0-7.
The first 60-70 seconds remained without scores as the two wrestlers measured each other. Vinesh lost a point on passivity and from there on, the Japanese began to dominate.
A quick takedown followed by an expose and another takedown gave the Japanese a commanding 7-0 lead.
Vinesh needed to attack but Mukaida's defence was like an immovable rock. The Indian made two double-leg attacks and got hold of Mukaida's left leg but could not convert those moves into points.
Seema is world number three in 50kg but the seasoned Stadnik did not let her dominate. The consistent double leg attacks by Stadnik always had Seema on the run as she lost points for stepping out.
A takedown followed by a gut-wrench gave Stadnik a 6-0 lead at the break. Seema could only score two points with a takedown of her own towards the end of the bout.
In the 72kg, Komal waited too long to attack. With just 40 seconds to go at 1-1, Komal made two double-leg attacks but only ended up losing points.
In one last desperate attempt, she attacked the right leg of the Turk but could not convert it into points with Beste staying strong in her defense.
India's campaign in the Greco-Roman style folded after Naveen lost his 130kg repechage round by technical superiority to Estonia's Heiki Nabi.
(With PTI inputs)