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Asian Wrestling Championships 2019: Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat clinch bronze medals; Pooja Dhanda, Navjot lose playoffs

X'ian: Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat won a bronze medal each as Indian women ended their campaign without a gold medal in the Asian Wrestling Championships on Friday.

Both Malik (62kg) and Phogat (53kg) lost their quarter-final bouts but made their way to the podium through the repechage round as their victors reached the finals.

 Asian Wrestling Championships 2019: Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat clinch bronze medals; Pooja Dhanda, Navjot lose playoffs

File image of Sakshi Malik. Mark Ralston/AFP

In the bronze medal play-offs, Phogat beat World Championships bronze medallist, China's Qianyu Pang 8-1 while Malik got the better of North Korean grappler Hyon Gyong Mun 9-6.

With the two bronze won on Thursday through Manju Kumari (59kg) and Divya Kakran (68kg), the Indian women wrestlers ended their campaign with four bronze medals.

For Malik, a qualifying round win on points against Thi My Hanh Nguyen of Vietnam was followed by a defeat against World Championships silver medallist Yukako Kawai of Japan in the quarter-finals in a victory by fall decision.

But since Kawai reached the final, Malik got a chance to feature in the repechage round where she had a comprehensive win over Jiae Choi of Korea in a victory by technical superiority decision to reach the bronze-medal play-off.

For Phogat, it was moving up to a higher 53kg category from 50kg, in which she had won a gold in the Jakarta Asian Games after a rejig of weight classes by the world governing body for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

She had competed in 53kg at the UWW Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tourney in Bulgaria last month and won a silver medal.

Phogat had a disappointing start as she lost to Mayu Mukaida of Japan, who came through the qualification round. The Japanese was declared a 10-0 winner in a victory by technical superiority verdict.

But since her opponent reached the final, Phogat featured in the repechage round where she beat Jo Cih Chiu of Taipei in a 6-0 victory by fall verdict.

In the play-off, Phogat beat Qianyu Pang to finish on the podium.

The best start among Indian women wrestlers on Friday was that of Pooja Dhanda in 57kg. She won her qualification round against Sevara Eshmuratova of Uzbekistan and the beat Emma Tissina of Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals before losing 4-8 against world champion Ningning Rong of China in the last-four round.

In the bronze medal play-off, Pooja lost 3-5 to Tserenchimed Sukhee of Mongolia in a close bout.

In the 72kg category, Kiran crashed out in the quarter-finals as she lost 4-7 on points at the hands of Zhamila Bakbergenova of Kazakhstan.

It was a disappointment for India in the 65kg also as Navjot lost her quarter-final bout but reached up to the bronze medal play-off where she was beaten by Aina Temirtassova of Kazakhstan.

The Indian team has so far won 12 medals (one gold, three silver, eight bronze) in the championships.

The men's freestyle wrestlers had won one gold, three silver and four bronze medals.

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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2019 20:24:04 IST