Defending champion Sarita Mor was not at her best but still managed to win a bronze medal while Sushma Shokeen also earned a podium finish at the Asian Wrestling Championship on Thursday.
Competing in the five-wrestler 59kg category, Sarita, the 2021 World Championship bronze medallist, began with two defeats against Mongolia's Shoovdor Baatarjav (1-2) and Japan's Sara Natami (VSU) -- but made a comeback by winning her last two bouts. She first beat Uzbekistan's Dilfuza Aimbetova by technical superiority and then followed that up with a 5-2 win over Diana Kayumova.
"I could have won that bout against Mongolian girl. But since she was from the home team, she got some favour from the referees. She was fleeing the mat but was not given any caution, she benefitted from that," Sarita told PTI. "That Japanese wrestler was also beatable. It was just not my day. I could not perform the way I wanted to. Maybe because of the weather. It is a high-altitude city, so I did not feel active on the mat. Plus, there was hardly any gap between my bouts," she added.
Also winning bronze was Sushma in the 55kg category, which also featured only five wrestlers. She lost by technical superiority to Japan's Umi Imai but bounced back with a 5-0 win over Kazakhstan's Altyn Shagayeva in the next round. Then she enjoyed a stupendous bout against Uzbekistan's Sarbinaz Jienbaeva, winning by fall.
However, she ended with a heavy defeat against local girl Otgonjargal Ganbaatar, to whom she lost by technical superiority. The two wins were enough for her to secure a bronze. Manisha was also in reckoning for a bronze in the 50kg but lost the medal match by fall to Uzbekistan's Jasmina Immaeva. Sonika Hooda (68kg) and Sudesh Kumari (76kg) could not reach the medal round.
India have so far won seven bronze medals at the championships. The Greco Roman wrestlers had won five bronze on the first two days of the continental championships.