Battling Sakshi moves closer to bronze medal

Battling Sakshi moves closer to bronze medal

Battling Sakshi moves closer to bronze medal

Sakshi Malik moved close to a bronze medal in women’s 58kg wrestling after a performance oozing with determination at the Caraoca Arena here on Wednesday.

Sakshi, a 23-year-old from Rohtak in Haryana, set up the medal contest with Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan after ousting Orkhon Purevdorj of Mongolia in the first of her repechage rounds.

Sakshi had earlier lost in the quarterfinals and had to fight two repechage bouts to be assured of the bronze. Purevdorj was the first, and Tynybekova the other in the do-or-die clash.

Orkhon, 22, had earned name and fame after ending the run of Japan’s Kaori Icho, one of the legends of the sport, in 2016 after a streak of 189 victories. But Sakshi dominated her in the second round to come through 12-3.

Sakshi earned two points early in the second round after taking down Purevdorj. The Mongolian tried to rally but Sakshi had her in a firm grip. Taking her down again and twisting her around, the Indian then scored points by the handful, racing to a 12-3 lead to end the contest.

Sakshi, a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, had earlier lost to Russia’s Zholobova Koblova in the quarterfinals.

Koblova, a world championship silver medallist in 2014 and the European Games champion, proved too tough an opponent for the Indian. She did well to be level with the Russian initially but in the second period, Koblova outwitted Sakshi to surge ahead to the last-four round.

Sakshi then got an entry to the repechage after Koblova entered the final. Earlier, in the qualification round, Sakshi defeated Malin Johana Mattsson of Sweden after trailing in the first round. The Swede was 4-0 up in the first round but the Indian, staring at exit, fought well to surge ahead decisively in the second.

Sakshi then outwitted Mariana Esanu Cherdivara of Moldova, again bouncing back in the second period. The win set up the quarterfinal clash with Koblova.

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