Medal-less second day for India in Bishkek; Sajan loses bronze match
Indian wrestlers endured a medal less day at the ongoing ranking series in Bishkek as Sajan Bhanwala lost the bronze medal match.
Sajan Bhanwal made a spirited comeback after trailing 0-7 but lost steam in the second period of his bronze medal play-off after three Indian women wresters made early exit as India endured a medal-less day at the UWW Ranking Series event here on Friday.
Bhanwal, who was passive initially, lost points in a jiffy from 'par terre' position against China's Rui Liu but logged five straight points to reduce the deficit.
The Chinese wrester was tired but Bhanwal too did not have much left in the tank and shook hands for a 5-7 defeat in the 77kg bout. Vikas lost the 72kg bronze play-off to Georgia's Otar Abuladze.
The Indian Greco-Roman team thus will return with just one medal -- a bronze -- that came through Manjeet in the 55kg category.
"We could have won at least 4-5 medals in this tournament. The competition was not much high, mostly the Asian wrestlers were competing. It was much tougher in the Croatian Ranking Series event. Sajan could have won today but since there was no national camp, our Greco-Roman wrestlers were not well-prepared," national coach Hargobind Singh told PTI.
"Usually they have better stamina but not having good practice has affected their fitness," he added.
The national camps for senior wrestlers were put on hold due to the ongoing agitation of top grapplers and the Indian Olympic Association's ad-hoc committee taking charge of the functioning of the Wrestling Federation of India.
In the women's competition, young Sonam Malik, who is returning from an elbow injury, and Nisha Dahiya suffered first-round defeats while Priya lost her quarterfinal bout.