AGENCIES, New Delhi: It was supposed to be a big night tonight for India’s women’s grapplers, but as the day progressed, things didn’t happen as expected.
Vinesh Phogat seemed to be overwhelmed yet again to Japanese rival Mayu Muakida which resulted her going out of the gold medal race. However, the day’s face saver came from Sakshi Malik who will fight for the title after winning her semi-final bout.
Phogat had had two encounters with Mukaida in 2019 at World Championship and Asian Championships and in both she lost.
In the opening round, Phogat tried single leg attacks but Mukaida was able to block her move and eventually got the upper body lock to subdue the home favourite.
In her last two meetings, Vinesh had not scored a single point against the 2019 world silver medallist. She managed a takedown this time before eventually losing 2-6.
Phogat will now look for bronze against Vietnam’s Thi Ly Kieu.
Meanwhile, Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik lost her opening round 1-2 to Naomi Ruike from Japan but later overcame two weaker opponents to reach the final of the non-Olympic 65kg category.
Preet Kaur Gursharan will tackle Tsevegmed Enkhbayar from Mongolia in the Bronze medal bout after losing to Mei Shindo from Japan (12-1) in the semi-final.