Published By: Ritayan Basu
Last Updated: September 19, 2023, 22:27 IST
Indian wrestler Neha Sharma made it to the bronze-medal round defeating Mariia Vynnyk in the repechage, while her compatriots Sarita Mor and Divya Kakran failed to make an impact at the UWW World Championships, losing their preliminary round bouts here on Tuesday.
Neha, competing in the non-Olympic 55kg category, defeated seventh seed Mariia Vynnyk of Ukraine 7-4 on points to set up a bronze-medal match against Anastasia Blayvas of Germany.
If Neha, seeded 19th, wins the contest later on Tuesday, it will be the Indian contingent’s first medal in this edition of the World Championships.
The Indian contingent is competing under the United World Wrestling (UWW) flag as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has been suspended by the international body for not holding its elections in the stipulated time.
Both Sarita (57kg) and Divya (76kg) lost their pre-quarterfinal bouts, while team-mates Antim Kundu (65kg) and Neelam (50kg) also met with similar fate on Tuesday.
The chances of the four grapplers making it to the bronze-medal round via the repechage route also evaporated as the opponents they had lost to failed to make it to the final.
The repechage comes into effect for wrestlers who lose in the pre-quarterfinals or later. It gives them another opportunity to revive their fortunes in the competition if the opponent they have lost to reaches the final.
Sarita, after defeating Betzabeth Colmenarez of Venezuela 6-1 in the first round, lost to Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye 4-6 in the pre-quarterfinal, while Divya, after getting the better of Turkey’s Mehtap Gultekin 7-5 in the qualification round, lost the pre-quarterfinal bout to Canada’s world No.4 Justina Renay after the latter scored more technical points.
However both Adekuoroye and Justina lost in the quarterfinals, shutting the repechage door on Sarita and Divya.
In the 65kg category Antim Kundu, ranked 17th, created quite a sensation by defeating world No.2 Iva Geric of Croatia 6-0 in the pre-quarterfinals. Her Chinese opponent in the quarterfinal, Lili, registered a victory by fall to end the Indian’s hope of advancing in the tournament.
Neelam (50kg) too began on a positive note registering two quick victories — against Maral Tangirbergenova of Kazakhstan (10-0) and Oksana Livach of Ukraine (6-4) — but lost to world No.4 Feng Ziqi of China, who achieved a victory by fall in the quarterfinal.
Feng, too, went on to lose her semifinal bout, thus closing the repechage route for the Indian.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)