Women Wrestlers Lead India to Glory in Asian Wrestling Championship 2020

As the Asian Wrestling Championship 2020, which began at New Delhi on February 18, comes to a halt on February 23 Sunday, India has reason to smile – having won gold, silver, and bronze medals in plenty.

The gold medals were won by Divya Kakran (68 kg category), Sarita Mor (59kg category), and newcomer Pinki (55kg category). Olympian Sakshi Malik and CWG Silver medallist Nirmala Devi won Silver, with Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik, and Gursharan Preet Kaur bringing in Bronze medals.

Indian wrestler Sarita (59 Kgs category) won gold medal against Mongolia’s Battsetseg Altantsetseg during Senior Asian Wrestling Championship, at IGI Stadium on February 20, 2020 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The championship had participants from 10 countries, with Japan and Iran beating India to first and second places in the number of medals respectively. (China was barred from entering the competition due to the corona virus outbreak.)

Making India Proud

Delhi-based Divya Kakran, now 21, has also won Gold in Commonwealth championship and Silver in Asian Wrestling Championship, both in 2017. This year, she became the second Indian woman to win Gold at Asian wrestling Championship when she defeated Japan’s Naruha Matsuyuki. On Thurssday, Pinki and Sarita Mor defeated Dulguun Bolormaa and Battsetseg Atlantsetseg (both from Mongolia) respectively.

Recipient of Padma Shri and Khel Ratna awards, Sakshi Malik (27) lost to Naomi Ruike from Japan in the final round on Friday, settling for the Silver at the championship.

Anshu Malik, who won Gold in Asian Junior Wrestling Championship in 2019,  defeated Sevara Eshmuratova from Uzbekistan on Friday to clinch Bronze while Gursharan Preet Kaur won against Mongolia’s Tsevegmed Enkhbayar.

Indian Wrestler Vinesh (53 KGs Category) with her bronze medal against Thi Ly Kieu (VIE) during the Senior Asian Wrestling Championship at the IGI Stadium on February 21, 2020 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Nirmala Devi, 35, lost to Japan’s Miho Igarashi on Thursday, settling for Silver in the 50kh category final. Arjuna awardee Vinesh Phogat, the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in Asian Games and Commonwealth games, won Silver at the championship this time with her third consecutive defeat from Japanese wrestler Mayu Mukaida. She also won Bronze medal by beating Thi Ly Kieu of Vietnam in the 53 kg category senior category.