Junior Asian Wrestling C’ships: Mansi settles for silver

The Indian goes down in a one-sided final to Japan’s Akie Hanai.

Learning lesson: Mansi (right) couldn’t match up to her opponent in the final.   -  PTI

Being disappointed after losing in the final is understandable but Mansi Ahlawat was stunned into silence. It didn't matter that she was participating in her maiden international competition at home and ended with a silver. The Rohtak girl had blanked out after the defeat and had no words to express herself at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championships here on Friday.

Asked if she felt bad, Mansi simply nodded. It took a while for her to start speaking but had nothing to say about her 57kg title bout against Japan’s Akie Hanai, which she lost by technical superiority 10-0, except that she had never fought against her opponent before and had not seen any videos of her either. She knew nothing of her rival.

A silver medalist at the Cadet Asian Championships in May this year — she had lost to another Japanese, Ozaki Nonoka — this was also Mansi’s maiden international competition in the junior category after winning gold in the national championships in February. Travelling 10km every day to and from Seria village in Jhajjar district to Sir Chotu Ram Stadium in Rohtak, twice a day, Mansi and her younger sister Khushi are first-generation wrestlers in her family.

“I was a gymnast for two years at the same stadium. We used to see girls practice wrestling and liked it, moving to the sport four years ago to train with Mandeep sir,” she said. Up next is the selection trials for the World Junior Championships. And though the girl with few words didn't say anything, it was the first time she smiled throughout the interaction, making her determination evident.

Swati shines

Mansi was the only bright spot of the day for the host apart from Swati Shinde, who ended her bronze medal bout in double-quick time to win by technical superiority 10-0 in the 53kg. The other three Indians in the fray for a bronze all lost, including recent World Cadet Championships bronze medallists Anshu and Sonika Hooda as the Indian women finished with two silvers and three bronze in third place, behind runaway leader Japan — seven golds and one silver — and China, which had five silvers and four bronze.

Results
  • Women
  • 53kg: Umi Imai (Jpn), Yuhong Zhong (Chn), Swati Shinde (Ind) and Enkhtsetseg Batbaatar (Mgl); 57kg: Akie Hanai (Jpn), Mansi (Ind), Zhanerke Assanova (Kaz) and Qi Zhang (Chn); 62kg: Irina Kuznetsova (Kaz), Rin Kondo (Jpn), Seeun Choi (Kor) and Xinyuan Sun (Chn); 65kg: Naomi Ruike (Jpn), Yaru Wu (Chn), Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan (Mgl) and Bakhtigul Baltaniyazova (Uzb); 72kg: Mei Shindo (Jpn), Khulan Tsermaa (Mgl), Hui Tsz Chang (Tpe) and Gulnaz Zhapparova (Kaz).

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