Vastavam web: Vinesh Phogat today created history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Asian Games, brushing aside her rivals with remarkable ease in the 50kg category here. Vinesh was a medal-favourite in her category and was likely to face stiff competition from Japan’s Yuki Irie whom she outplayed 6-2 in the final.
It is surely a ground-breaking achievement for the 23-year-old firebrand Haryana wrestler, who is connected to Dangal-famed Phogat family. This time Vinesh did not give her opponent any chance and came out a dominant winner with a 8-2 score. In the next bout she brushed aside the challenge of Korea’s Hyungjoo Kim by technical superiority. She ended the bout with a four-point throw.
Vinesh’s semifinal lasted just 75 seconds as she moved into the final with a ‘fitley’. She was already up 4-0 and then rolled over her opponent thrice with leg-lock. The gold also enabled Vinesh to achieve another feat as she became the only woman wrestler to win two medals in back-to-back Asian Games. Vinesh also won back-to-back gold medals in Glasgow and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games this year.
Earlier, Sakshi Malik paid the price for being over-defensive and was left to fight for bronze in the 62kg category. CWG silver medallist Pooja Dhanda will also fight for bronze after losing her semifinal in the 57kg. Sumit Malik, the last remaining Indian in the men’s freestyle, bit the dust in the 125kg category as he could not resist his opponent even for two minutes, losing by technical superiority.
Thus, the men’s campaign finished with just one gold medal from Bajrang Punia (65kg). Sakshi, playing her first Asian Games, was hardly challenged before her semifinal round as she easily won against Thailand’s Salinee Srisombat (10-0) and Ayaulym Kassymova (10-0). She led 7-6 with a throw but became too defensive with 10 seconds to go. The Kyrgyz took advantage and pushed Sakshi out of the mat to pocket the match-wining two points.