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Alka, Anita win wrestling golds

October 08, 2010 19:33 IST

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India's top woman wrestler Alka Tomar and young Anita won gold medals in the 59 kg and 67 kg freestyle categories respectively to make it a memorable day for the hosts at the Commonwealth Games.

With Geeta winning India's first gold in woman's wrestling on Thursday, Alka and Anita made it a hat-trick of gold medals.

While Alka outclassed Tonya Verbeek of Canada, Anita beat Megan Budyens of Canada, winning the first two rounds on points for a 4-0 win.

India got another medal courtesy Babita Kumari, who lost her 51 kg freestyle bout against Ifeoma Christi Nwoye of Nigeria 4-6.

India thus finished with six medals -- three gold, two silver and a bronze.

The star of the day undoubtedly was Alka, who pinned down her much fancied Canadian opponent, Tonya, in one minute and 49 seconds.

Tonya, incidentally, was a silver medalist at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

"Definitely, it's the most memorable victory for me. From today, the Navratri has started and the Almighty was with me. She is a seasoned fighter and I knew it wasn't going to be easy," said the Meerut girl, who is the face of women's wrestling in India.

She was a bronze medalist at the World Championships and Doha Asian Games.

Wrestling runs in her blood. Her father, uncles and brothers are all wrestlers. She also feels that the perception about wrestlers has changed since Sushil Kumar's bronze in the Beijing Olympics.

"Sushil pehelwanji should get the credit for earning respect for the wrestlers. Lot of people are taking up the sport and the popularity will only increase in the coming years," Alka said.

For Anita, the second girl from Bhiwani after Geeta to win gold, it was the strategy plotted by her coach that won her the day.

"Having fought against her in the World Championship, my coach told me that my opponent usually retreats before attacking. I was told that the moment she takes a few steps back, I should attack. It paid off," said Anita, who works as a constable with Haryana police.

It was a painful sight to watch a teary eyed Babita at the podium after she lost her bout pretty badly.

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