Asian Games bronze medallist Divya Kakran and Manju Kumari grabbed a bronze medal each as India’s women wrestlers began their campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi’an, China on Thursday.
Kakran (68kg), also a bronze medallist at the Commonwealth Games last year, lived
up to the expectations as she delivered a bronze by pinning Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia to add to the silver she won at home in 2017.
Kakran failed to make it to the final after going down to Feng Zhou of China 4-14 in
the last-four clash. In the quarter-finals, she was on fire on the mat as she prevailed
over Hong Thuy Nguyen of Vietnam 10-0. This is Kakran’s first competition since coming back from an ankle injury.
“This was my first international outing since the ankle injury. Though I would have
liked to win the gold medal, I will take lessons from here and will keep on working
hard for the upcoming tournaments,” said the 21-year-old grappler. In 59kg, Manju was too powerful for Vietnam’s Thi Huong Dao whom she convincingly beat 11-2 in the bronze medal play-off. Manju had earlier tasted a 6-15 defeat at the hands of Battsetseg Altantsetseg of Mongolia 6-15 in the semi-finals and got a chance to play the bronze medal contest.
In the quarter-finals, she had emerged a 5-3 winner over Kazakhstan’s Madina
Bakbergenova 5-3. "I am really happy to win a medal at my first Asian Championships. I hope I can carry on from here and keep on achieving my goals,” said Manju after her medal. However, Seema succumbed to a 5-11 defeat to Kazakhstan’s Valentina Ivanovna Islamova Brik in the bronze medal play-off in 50kg and had to finish her campaign without a medal.
Having lost to eventual champion Yuki Irie of Japan in the qualifying round, she got a
chance to fight in the repechage bout after Irie made the final. Seema made no
mistake in outgrappling Meng Hsuan Hsieh of Chinese Taipei 10-2 to advance to the
bronze medal contest.
In 55kg, Lalita failed to repeat her heroics from the 2015 Asian Championships when
she had won the bronze. The 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist bowed
out in the quarter-finals with a 1-4 loss to Mongolia’s Dulguun Bolormaa.
In 76kg, Pooja also suffered the same fate when she lost her quarter-final bout to
Mongolia’s Zagardulam Naigalsuren by a 3-14 margin.
Women’s wrestling will continue on Friday, where Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Pooja
Dhanda (57kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Navjot Kaur (65kg), and Kiran (72kg) will be in
The six-day gala Asian Wrestling Championships will continue till April 28. India has
sent a 30-member squad and will look to improve on their 8-medal tally from last