Navjot Kaur created history by becoming the first woman wrestler from India to win a gold medal at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships. With a thoroughly dominating performance in the final of the women’s 65kg freestyle category, Navjot beat Japan’s Miya Imai by a convincing 9-1 points.
The wrestler who hails from Punjab, lost her first group stage match narrowly against Imai. But she came back strongly in her next match by defeating her opponent, Bakhtigul Baltaniazova of Uzbekistan. In the semifinal bout, Kaur overcame Enkhbayar to set up a final clash against Imai. After her final victory, Navjot was in tears as she was paraded around the mat on her coach’s shoulders with the tri-colour draped on her back. Navjot had previously won silver at the Asian Championships in 2013 and also has a bronze from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. With her medal, India take their tally to six medals overall- 1 gold, 1silver and 4 bronze.
Vinesh Phogat had to be contend with a silver medal after losing 2-3 to China’s a Chun Lei in the summit clash of the women’s 50kg freestyle category. Vinesh was trailing 0-1 in the bout, but she came back strongly to take the lead by scoring two quick points. But with less than two minutes left, the Chinese wrestler scored two crucial points to win the match.
Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik won bronze in the 62kg freestyle category after overcoming Kazakhstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova 10-7 in a tough fight. Sangeeta defeated Jieun Um of Korea to win a bronze medal in the women’s 59kg freestyle segment.
In the men’s section, Harpreet Singh came back after trailing 1-3 in his bronze medal match to record 11-3 win in the Greco-Roman 82kg category, while Rajendra Kumar won another bronze by beating Uzbekistan’s Javokhir Mirakhmedov in the 55-kg Greco-Roman category.