Pooja Gehlot: I was confident of my game

The wrestler says she maintained her defence really well in the semifinal bout against Zeynep Yetgil of Turkey.

Pooja Gehlot defeated Zeynep Yetgil 8-4. Photo: Wrestling TV

Pooja Gehlot said she was confident of her game when facing Zeynep Yetgil of Turkey in the semifinals of the UWW U-23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday.

“I had undergone long hours of training and had put so much effort to prepare for this World Championships,” Gehlot said after her 8-4 semifinal win. “The opponent was an experienced player with great technique and power play. However, I was confident of my game. Initially, I was patient and focussed to understand her style of play without letting my guard down. I maintained my defence really well.”

Gehlot began her campaign from the qualifying stages in Budapest, and she sparkled right from the start. After defeating Ekaterina Verbina of Russia 8-3 in the qualifiers, she progressed to the quarterfinals, where she defeated Chinese Taipei’s Meng Hsuan Hsieh 8-0.

‘Full blast’

“Once I got the hang of the game in the initial round, I went full blast to attack and ensure I get full points from my attacks. The coach also had advised me to go full throttle whether it’s defence or attack. I followed his advice and am really happy with my performance so far. I am going to give my all in the final and hope I can win the gold,” she said.

Gehlot is the second Indian to make it to the final of this edition of the championships following men’s freestyle expert, Ravinder (61kg), who won silver on Wednesday.