Neha valiant effort falls short in bronze medal bout


Indian woman wrestler Neha Sharma lost to Anastasia Blayvas of Germany in the bronze-medal match of the UWW World Championships in the non-Olympic 55kg category. Sharma had reached the bronze-medal round after defeating Mariia Vynnyk of Ukraine 7-4 in repechage. The other four Indian women wrestlers in the tournament failed to make an impact, losing their preliminary round bouts. In a closely fought battle, the 19th-ranked Indian wrestler faced a defeat on technical points against the 16th-ranked German competitor. Meanwhile, Sarita Mor and Divya Kakran, both representing India, were unable to leave a mark at the World Wrestling Championships as they lost their preliminary round matches. It’s worth noting that the Indian contingent is participating in the event under the banner of the United World Wrestling (UWW) since the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) faced suspension by the international governing body due to its failure to hold elections within the prescribed timeframe.
Both Sarita (57kg) and Divya (76kg) lost their pre-quarterfinal bouts, while team-mates Antim Kundu (65kg) and Neelam (50kg) also met with similar fate. The chances of the four grapplers making it to the bronze-medal round via the repechage route also evaporated as the opponents they had lost to failed to make it to the final.
The repechage rule applies to wrestlers who face defeat in the pre-quarterfinals or subsequent rounds. This rule offers them a chance to resurrect their prospects in the competition, but only if the opponent they lost to advances to the final match. In the case of Sarita, she secured a 6-1 victory over Betzabeth Colmenarez of Venezuela in the opening round but encountered a 4-6 loss to Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye in the pre-quarterfinals. Similarly, Divya, following her 7-5 win over Turkey’s Mehtap Gultekin in the qualification round, faced elimination in the pre-quarterfinals against Canada’s world No.4, Justina Renay, who managed to accumulate more technical points to secure the victory. However, both Adekuoroye and Justina lost in the quarterfinals, shutting the repechage door on Sarita and Divya. In the 65kg category Antim Kundu, ranked 17th, created quite a sensation by defeating world No.2 Iva Geric of Croatia 6-0 in the pre-quarterfinals. Her Chinese opponent in the quarterfinal, Lili, registered a victory by fall to end the Indian’s hope of advancing in the tournament.