Vinesh, Sakshi advance in women’s wrestling

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 17 (PTI) Indian women wrestlers –Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik — crossed the first hurdle byregistering contrasting victories in their respective weightdivisions in the Rio Olympic Games, here today. It was an easy outing for Vinesh in 48kg category as shethrashed Emilia Alina Vuc of Romania 11-0 by technicalsuperiority to enter the quarterfinals. In contrast, Sakshi came back from 0-4 down to post animpressive 5-4 win over her Swedish opponent — JohannaMattsson to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of 58kg category. Sakshi was the first to take the mat today and was quickto go down in the first period conceding four points to herSwedish rival. The 23-year-old grappler, however, made amends in thesecond period as she managed to pull two points back. Shegrabbed another opportunity by pushing her rival out of themat, which gave her just one more point. With just 10 seconds remaining, Sakshi desperately neededanother point and she scored a takedown in those dying momentsof the match to knock off two-time world fifth-place finisherwith a narrow victory. However, Vinesh did not have to break much sweat to getthe better of her Romanian rival. Although she twisted her right elbow in the first 20seconds of the bout, Vinesh did not let that bother her. The 21-year-old got into action and without wasting anytime flipped Vuc to bag four points. With her opponentstruggling, Vinesh earned two more points with yet anothertake down to take a 6-0 lead at the end of the first period. In the second period, she displayed some very gooddefensive technique and never let the Romanian get around her. Vinesh then pushed Vuc on to the mat to get another fourpoints and wrap up the match in style in 5.01 minutes. The Romanian team asked for a referral but Vinesh’s fourpoints were retained. PTI CM SSCCM

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