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Indian grapplers impress in Asian wrestling championships

April 21, 2013 20:09 IST

It was a good day in office for Indian grapplers as they bagged one silver and three bronze medals in the Senior Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi on Sunday.

Navjot Kaur settled for silver in the 67kg category after losing her final bout to Mongolia's N Ochirbat while Geetika Jakhar (63kg) and Jyoti (72kg) won their bronze medal ties, after star grappler Geeta Phogat made a shock first round exit from the tournament.

India's bet in the men's 120kg category, Hitender, too bagged a bronze medal to end the penultimate day on a high for the hosts.

Geeta PhogatNavjot, who earned a bye in the opening round, was the first to attack in the gold medal bout as she attempted single-leg takedown on her opponent. However, the Mongolian successfully resisted the challenge to deny the local favourite a point.

Ochirbat, in the dying moments, collected a point through a back grip on Navjot to win the first period.

The Punjab girl started the next period warily and Ochirbat, who had beaten her in the World Cup in March, was quick to pounce on her rival to take 5-0 lead. Egged on by a vociferous crowd here at the KD Jadhav Wrestling Stadium, Navjot fought hard to make a match of it and collected two points but she lost the tie 0-1 2-5.

"I was feeling nervous ahead of the bout. I wanted to win gold medal in front of my home crowd," Navjot said after the summit clash.

Seasoned Indian grappler, Geetika Jakhar, recorded a win 'by fall' over Thailand's Wilaiwan Thongkam to win the bronze medal in the 63kg category.

Geetika, who won her opening bout, was overwhelmed in the semifinals by China's Zhuoma Xiluo, who went onto win the gold.

India's 72kg women wrestler, Jyoti came from behind to triumph over Elmira Syzdykova of Kazakhstan and finish on the podium. She lost the opening period 1-4 but won the next two 4-0 1-0.

In the men's 120kg freestyle competition, Hitender took just one minute to mat Kazakhstan's Dmitry Popov in the bronze medal encounter.

Earlier, India faced a huge disappointment after their best bet in the women's competition, Geeta Phogat, lost her first bout to China's Haiyan Li in a tight 59kg-contest.

India have so far won one gold, one silver and six bronze medals in the championship.

Freestyle Men: 1 gold and two bronze; Women: one silver and four bronze.

Photograph: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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