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Sonam Malik's Olympics debut ends after Round 1 defeat

Source: PTI
August 03, 2021 12:15 IST
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India's Sonam Malik in action against Mongolia's Bolortuya Khurelkhuu during the Olympics women's 62kg category wrestling bout on Tuesday

IMAGE: India's Sonam Malik in action against Mongolia's Bolortuya Khurelkhuu during the Olympics women's 62kg category wrestling bout on Tuesday. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

Young Indian wrestler Sonam Malik's Olympics debut ended after a first-round defeat on criteria against Mongolia's Bolortuya Khurelkhuu in the 62kg category after she adopted a defensive approach, in Tokyo, on Tuesday.

 

The 19-year-old led the bout 2-0 but the reigning Asian silver medallist Khurelkhuu effected a take-down move with just 35 seconds left in the contest to level the score.

The score remained 2-2 till the end but since it was the Mongolian who scored the last point with her move, she was declared winner on criteria.

The Mongolian was later outplayed by Bulgaria's Tayeb Mustafa Yusein, the second seed and 2018 World champion, the result spelling the ouster of the Indian wrestler.

Yusein finished her quarter-final against Khurelkhuu in a jiffy, winning by technical superiority.

"Sonam was definitely a better wrestler than the Mongolian but she made a mistake by being over defensive. That was a mistake. Nevertheless, she has got big-stage experience," Sonam's coach Ajmer Malik said.

There was hardly any action for a major part of the bout. No move was made till one-and-a-half minute as the two wrestlers only tried to get a measure of each other from standing position.

The Mongolian was put on activity clock but Sonam scored a push-out point to take a 1-0 lead and kept that till the end of the first three-minute period.

Another push out put her 2-0 in front. Sonam did not let the Mongolian make any move for a major part, but Khurelkhuu managed to get hold of the Indian's leg and got the decisive take-down.

Sonam, a two-time Cadet World champion (2017, 2019), had qualified for the Tokyo Games by making the final at the Asian Qualifier in April, in Almaty.

Khurelkhuu, being an experienced contender, knew when to make the decisive move.

On Wednesday, wrestlers Ravi Dahiya (FS 57kg), Deepak Punia (FS 86kg) and Anshu Malik (WW 57kg) will begin their respective campaigns.

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