Sakshi loses in quarters, injury ends Vinesh's campaign

Sakshi loses in quarters, injury ends Vinesh's campaign

Sakshi loses in quarters, injury ends Vinesh's campaign
Indian woman wrestler Sakshi Malik lost in the quarterfinals of 58kg while Vinesh Phogat was stretchered off after suffering a knee dislocation during her quarterfinal bout at the Rio Olympics here today.

Vinesh's campaign is over after she retired hurt following a dislocation of her right knee half-way into the first period of her 48kg quarterfinal fight against China's Sun Yanan.

First point of the quarterfinal bout went to Vinesh with her Chinese opponent showing passivity but Sun Yanan soon hit back with a single-leg takedown to earn two points. The Chinese suddenly pinned the Indian down in an awkward position and Vinesh sustained an injury to her right knee, which forced her to forfeit the bout 1-2.

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

She would not be able to fight in the repechage round even if the Chinese reach 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.

Meanwhile, Sakshi went down in the quarterfinals of 58kg after losing 2-9 to Valeria Koblova of Russia. Earlier, she had made strong comebacks in both her initial round bouts to advance to the quarterfinals.

After conceding one point in the first period of her quarterfinal fight because of passivity, Sakshi did well to earn two points in the second period with a take-down.

But the Russian girl, with enormous strength, hit back to pocket 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 semifinals.

If the Russian manages to reach the gold-medal bout, Sakshi will get a shot at the bronze with a chance to fight in the repechage round.

After coming back from a 0-4 down to post an impressive 5-4 win over her Swedish opponent --  Malin Johanna Mattsson -- in the qualification round, Sakshi eked out a narrow 5-5 win against Mariana Cherdivara Esanu of Republic of Moldova in the pre-quarters.

In the opening period of the pre-quarterfinal bout, Sakshi got 30 seconds to earn points but she 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.

Sakshi then 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.

In the qualification round, Sakshi 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, Sakshi 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, Vinesh 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-quarterfinal. Although she twisted her right elbow in the first 20 seconds of the bout, Vinesh 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, Vinesh 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. Vinesh then pushed Vuc on to the mat to earn another four points and wrap up the match in style in just 5.01 minutes. The Romanian team asked for a referral but Vinesh's four points were retained by the judges.

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