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Injury ends Vinesh Phogat's campaign

Last updated on: August 17, 2016 22:52 IST
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IMAGE: An injured Vinesh Phogat of India is treated during the women's 48kg freestyle quarter-final bout against China's Yanan Sun (not pictured) at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images

India's woman wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat fell by the wayside at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.

Malik was beaten in the 58kg freestyle quarter-finals while Phogat was stretchered off after suffering a knee dislocation during her 48 kg bout at the same stage.

Malik, who lost 2-9 to Valeria Koblova of Russia, however, can get a shot at the bronze medal with a chance to fight in the repechage round if the Russian reaches the gold-medal bout.

Phogat's campaign was over after she retired hurt following dislocation of her right knee half-way into the first period of her quarter-final against China's Sun Yanan.

The first point in the quarter-final went to Phogat with the Chinese showing passivity. However, Sun Yanan hit back immediately with a single-leg take-down to earn two points.

The Chinese suddenly pinned the Indian down in an awkward position, resulting in Phogat sustaining the injury to her right knee. It forced her to forfeit the bout 1-2.

The 21-year-old, who was touted as a medal prospect for India, grimaced in pain as she was treated for about five minutes before being stretchered off for medical treatment.

She will not be able to fight in the repechage round even if the Chinese reaches the final of 48kg.

"We all are awaiting MRI report but she cannot fight again," India's Chef de Mission Rakesh Gupta said.

"It seems she has dislocated her right knee. The medical scan will exactly reveal the nature of the injury," coach Kuldeep Singh told PTI, giving a preliminary update.

IMAGE: India’s Sakshi Malik, left, and Valeria Koblova of Russia compete in the 58kg freestyle quarter-finals at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Earlier in the day, Malik had made strong comebacks in both her initial round bouts to advance to the quarter-finals.

After conceding a point in the first period of her quarter-final because of passivity, Malik did well to earn two points in the second period with a take-down.

But the Russian girl, having enormous strength, came back strongly and scored four points before gaining another two to take a 7-2 lead. She earned two points again to win the bout 9-2 and make the semi-finals.

After coming back from a 0-4 down to post an impressive 5-4 win over Swedish opponent Malin Johanna Mattsson in the qualification round, Malik scored beat Mariana Cherdivara Esanu of the Republic of Moldova in the pre-quarters.

In the opening period of the pre-quarter-final bout, she had 30 seconds to earn points but failed and that gave Cherdivara a point.

The girl from Moldova then put Sakshi down on the mat to gain another two points and lead 3-0 at the break.

In the second period, the Indian failed to take advantage of the 30 seconds she got and handed Cherdivara another point.

But Malik came back strongly to post a double take down, which earned her four crucial points at one go and helped her surge ahead to a 5-3 lead.

Although Cherdivara, with her own take-down, gained two points to make the scores level at 5-5 with just 19 seconds left on the clock, the Indian was declared winner on bigger points gain.

IMAGE: Mariana Cherdivara-Esanu of Moldova, left, and India’s Sakshi Malik compete in the 58kg freestyle preliminaries at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

In the qualification round, Malik went down in the first period, conceding four points to her Swedish rival.

The 23-year-old grappler, however, made amends in the second period as she managed to pulled two points back before grabbing another opportunity to score by pushing her rival out of the mat, which although gave her just one more point.

With only 10 seconds remaining, she desperately needed another point to register a win and she scored a takedown in those dying moments of the match to knock off two-time World fifth-place finisher with a narrow victory.

However, Phogat did not have to break much sweat to get the better of her Emilia Alina Vuc of Romania 11-0 by technical superiority in her pre-quarter-final.

Although she twisted her right elbow in the first 20 seconds of the bout, she did not let that bother her.

The 21-year-old got into action and without wasting any time flipped Vuc to bag four points. With her opponent struggling, the Indian earned two more points with yet another take down to march ahead with a 6-0 lead at the end of the first period.

In the second period, she displayed some very good defensive technique and never let the Romanian get around her.

Phogat then pushed Vuc on to the mat to earn another four points and wrap the match in style, in just 5.01 minutes.

The Romanian team asked for a referral but the Indian’s four points were retained by the judges.

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