New Delhi: Manju Kumari was the lone Indian woman to have won a medal in women’s wrestling after clinching a bronze in 59kg category at the Junior World Wrestling Championship in Tampere, Finland here.
Manju registered a 2-0 victory over Ilona Prokopevniuk of Ukraine in her bronze medal play-off bout last night to finish on the podium. En-route to her third-place finish, Manju defeated Aleksandrina Nikolaeva Kashinova of Bulgaria 5-1 in the 1/8 stage before she was outclassed 0-10 by Japan’s Yuzuru Kumano in the quarterfinals.
However, with the Japanese girl advancing to the final of 59kg, Manju got another life in the form of repechage and she did not waste the opportunity. In her repechage bout, Manju got the better of Tianna Grace Kennett of Canada 4-0 to storm into the bronze-medal round.
Today, Pooja Gehlot (women’s 55kg) and Pooja (women’s 72kg) had a chance to make it to the bronze medal play-offs of their respective weight categories but both lost their repechage bouts. Gehlot got off to a fine start, defeating Dominika Ewa Kulwicka of Poland 12-0 and Nazira Marsbek Kyzy of Kyrgyzstan 13-3 on her way to the quarters.
However, she lost her quarterfinal bout to Lianna de la Caridad Montero Herrera of Cuba 0-10. But fortunately with the Cuban making the gold-medal round, Gehlot got another life. But she wasted the chance as she lost her repechage bout 3-8 to Jingliang of China.
Pooja also got a chance to fight in the repechage round after her pre-quarterfinals opponent Yasuha Matsuyuki of Japan reached the gold medal round. The Japanese wrestler had beaten Pooja 10-6. However, Pooja could not capitalise on the opportunity, going down 0-4 to Hui-Tsz Chang of Chinese Taipei to lose out on a chance to fight for the third-place finish.
Pooja had earlier beaten Fanwen Shen of China 5-3 in her qualification bout. Other Indians in the fray today, Reshma Mane (63kg) and Ankush (48kg) lost in initial rounds of their respective weight divisions to bow out of the competition.