World Wrestling Championships 2022: India’s Sonam Malik makes early exit; Sushma Shokeen advances to repechage

India’s challenge in Greco-Roman events ended without a medal. Tokyo Olympian Vinesh Phogat will compete on Tuesday.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala

Tokyo Olympian Sonam Malik made an early exit from the World Wrestling Championships 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia after losing to Pan-American champion Ana Godinez of Canada in the first round of the women’s 62kg division on Monday. 

Sonam Malik, who won silver at the under-20 world championships last month, made it to the main draw by defeating two-time Asian silver medallist Ayaulym Kassymova of Uzbekistan 8-0 in the qualification round.

In the main draw, Sonam Malik led Ana Godinez 2-0 at the end of round one. However, Ana Godinez, also a Commonwealth Games 2022 silver medallist, won seven points in round two without conceding to advance further.

Sushma Shokeen, who won bronze at the Asian Championships in April, advanced to the repechage rounds in the women’s 55kg.

Sushma Shokeen began directly from the main rounds and edged past Pan-American champion Yaynelis Sanz Verdecia with a narrow 2-1 victory.

The Indian grappler put up a good fight against the last edition’s bronze medallist Oleksandra Khomenets of Ukraine in the quarter-finals but went down 10-5 after leading at one stage.

However, Oleksandra Khomenets made it to the finals giving Sushma Shokeen a likely shot at bronze via repechage.

None of the four Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers competing on Monday made it to the medal rounds. Ashu (67kg) and Deepanshu (97kg) lost in the repechage to the reigning European champion Murat Firat of Turkey and Italy’s European silver medallist Nikoloz Kakhelashvili, respectively.

Gyanender (60kg) won his qualifier against Leo Alexandre Sylvain Tudezca of France 6-4 but lost to China’s Liguo Cao 11-0 via technical superiority in the first round.

Satish, meanwhile, was defeated by Azerbaijan’s Sabah Saleh Shariati 10-1 in the 130kg qualifiers on technical superiority.

Three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat (women’s 53kg) and Under-20 world championships silver medallist Priyanka (women’s 76kg) will be in action on Tuesday.

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