Sarita Mor storms into Asian Wrestling Championships final

India’s Sarita Mor moves into the final of the 59kg category; Seema Bisla and Pooja will fight for the bronze medal after suffering defeats.

Sarita Mor in action during the Asian Wrestling Championships in 2020. - SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Defending champion Sarita Mor made an impressive comeback after a narrow opening-round defeat to storm into the 59kg final at the Asian Wrestling Championship here on Thursday.

India’s Seema Bisla (50kg) and Pooja (76kg) lost their respective semifinal contests, however, and will fight for the bronze medal.

Sarita, who won gold in the 2020 edition of the competition in New Delhi, lost her opening bout to Mongolia's Shoovdor Baatarjav by a 4-5 margin but came back strongly in the next round against Kazakhstan's Diana Kayumova, winning by technical superiority in the first period.

Agile, aggressive

The lanky Kazakh had good reach but Sarita was agile and aggressive. After earning a passivity point, Sarita unleashed a flurry of moves; she started with a take-down and followed that up with a gut-wrench and a couple of expose moves.

Against Kyrgyzstan's Nuraida Anarkulova in the semifinal, Sarita was again aggressive from the beginning and finished the bout in a jiffy with quick expose moves after getting hold of her opponent. She now has a chance to take revenge from Shoovdor, who also reached the summit clash.

In the 50kg competition, Seema had a terrible start as she lost her opening bout by fall against Kazakshtan's Valentina Ivanovna. But she made a strong comeback in the next round against Mongolian Anudari Nandintsetseg. Trailing 2-0, Seema got on board with a passivity point and a take-down. She never looked back after that, winning more points by employing gut-wrench to eventually win 7-3.

She faced a stiff challenge from Uzbekistan's Jasmina Immaeva in the semifinal which she lost 3-2.

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She will now have to beat Taipei's Yung Hsun Lin to win bronze medal.

In 76 kg, Pooja won her first bout 2-0 as South Korea’s Seoyeon Jeong was too passive. She followed that up with a victory by fall against Uzbekistan's Ozoda Zaripboeva.

Mostly earning points through right-leg attacks, Pooja found a move - again a right-leg attack - in the beginning of the second period, which led her to pinning her rival. She was no match to Elmira Syzdykova in the semifinals, however, as the Kazak pinned her with a stunning move.

In the 68kg category, Nisha was ousted after losing both her bouts by fall.

Despite dominating a major part of her second round bout that she led 6-0 with right-leg attacks, Nisha lost to South Korea’s Eun Sun Jeong. She had lost her first round to Mongolia's Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan.