World Wrestling Championship: Pinki loses bronze playoff, Indian women struggle

Pinki’s bid to win her maiden World Championship medal fell flat as she lost the bronze playoff 2-5 to America’s Jenna Rose Burkert while the other youngsters in the women’s squad also struggled in Oslo, Norway, on Tuesday.

Burkert did not let Pinki play her game as the American straight-jacketed her with her arm and headlocks. With less than a minute to go and trailing 0-5, Pinki effected a two-pointer but Burkert did not let Indian make another move.

Pinki, the 2020 Asian champion, had lost a gruelling semifinal on Monday to Germany’s Nina Hemmer to miss out on a historic final.

Pinki was the third Indian to reach a medal round in this edition of the championship but failed to earn a podium finish after the defeat of Ravinder (61kg) and Rohit (65kg) in the men’s freestyle bronze medal matches.

Earlier in the day, the young Indian wrestlers, including talented Hanny Kumari, expectedly found the going tough.

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Competing in the 50kg category, 18-year-old Hanny showed some spark when she began with a 9-2 win over South Korea’s Miran Cheon but her challenge in the quarterfinal against Russia’s Nadezhda Sokolova lasted just 35 seconds.

Sokolova took a commanding 6-0 lead in the first 15 seconds of the bout, severely denting the confidence of the Indian teenager, and finished the bout in no time.

In the 53kg, Pooja got a wrestling lesson from Japanese prodigy Akari Fujinami, who is yet to lose a bout in her career.

Pooja did not have to play any Qualification round but lost her pre-quarterfinal by technical superiority.

Teenager Bhateri failed to get a single point, let alone winning a round, as she lost 0-8 to Russia’s Dinara Kudaeva Salikhova.

Kiran (76kg) was the only senior player on the mat for India in the morning session but as usual, she struggled on the big stage.

She began with a 6-0 win against South Korea’s Kim Cholee but lost her quarterfinal ‘by fall’ to America’s Adeline Maria Gray.

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