India’s star wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Pinki won gold medals at the Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 July 2018. Sandeep Tomar had to settle for a silver while it was a disappointing performance from Rio Olympic bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik, who failed to reach the medal round. Indian wrestlers bagged 10 medals with women winning seven of those.
CWG champion Bajrang, who won a gold at the Tbilisi Grand Prix in Gerogia early this month, did not have to break a sweat as his opponent in the final count Andriy Kvyatkovskyy from Ukraine withdrew from the 70kg final due to an injury. It was Sakshi’s first competition since winning a bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games this year. In the three-player 72kg category, Rajni finished second after losing the final 3-4 to local girl Beste Aitug. Sangeeta Phogat (59kg) and Geeta (65kg) won bronze medals in their respective categories.
All other Indian men’s wrestlers Amit (65kg), Jitendra (74kg), Pawan (86kg), Deepak (92kg), Jashkawar Singh (97 and 125kg) failed to reach the medal rounds. Vicky had won a bronze in the 57kg on 28 July 2018. In the women’s competition, Pinki was the lone gold medallist in the 55kg category with her 6-3 win over Ukraine’s Olga Shnaider in the final but Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik endured a disappointing result as she failed to reach the medal round in the 62kg category.
Two gold medals were at stake in the women’s 53kg and 57kg categories but Seema and CWG silver medallist Pooja Dhanda lost their final bouts. Seema was outplayed 2-10 by Ukraine’s Khrystyna Bereza while Pooja was outclassed 0-11 by another Ukrainian Irnya Khariv.