WFI Unhappy to Examine CWG Women's Wrestling Match

WFI Unhappy to Examine CWG Women's Wrestling Match

By: WE Staff | Saturday, 13 August 2022

The national federation was disappointed that four Indian women wrestlers missed out on gold medals at the recently finished Commonwealth Games because they were unable to take advantage of a weak competition.

All 12 Indian wrestlers came home from the competition with medals, taking home six gold, one silver, and five bronze.

Only Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik among the female competitors took home the gold medal, while gold medal favourite Anshu Malik finished with silver in the 57 kg division.

Bronze was accepted by Pooja Gehlot (50 kg), Divya Kakran (68 kg), and Pooja Sihag (76 kg).

There were only six wrestlers competing in the 50 kg division. Prior to reaching the bronze play-off, Pooja was defeated by Canada's Madison Bianca Parks in her match.

Eight wrestlers competed in the 76kg division, while nine competed in the 68kg division, which included competitors from underdog nations like Bangladesh, Mauritius, Cameroon, Tonga, and New Zealand.

Nigerian silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, Blessing Oborududu, was the only other contender for Divya.

Divya struggled to compete with her, scoring zero points. She eventually defeated Blandine Nyeh Ngiri of Cameroon to win the bronze.

Even though Divya started representing Uttar Pradesh as of 2018, she has been requesting "respect and assistance" from the Delhi government.

However, Anshu Malik's inability to win gold in the 57kg division is the biggest letdown for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye, the African champion and seven years older than the Nidani woman, provided Anshu with a challenging final opponent.

"It was not a great show by our women wrestlers. If you are not winning such a weak field, what it reflects on your performance," said one official of the WFI.

"We are going to sit with the wrestlers and review the performance. Anshu could not even launch a proper attack against a much older opponent. Wrestlers must think about it.

"India is certainly a powerhouse in CWG but I don't think it reflected properly in our results," the official added. 

However, WFI is powerless to change the situation. After winning the trials, each wrestler won a spot on the Indian team.

Although in different ways, Vinesh Phogat (53 kg) and Sakshi Malik (62 kg) were the winners in their respective weight classes.

In all three of her matches, Vinesh dominated her helpless opponents, while Sakshi overcame an 0-4 disadvantage to pin Canadian Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez in the championship match.

The results in the men's events was as expected, with gold medals going to Bajrang Punia (65 kg), Ravi Sahiya (65 kg), Naveen (74 kg), and Deepak Punia (86 kg), with bronze medals going to Deepak Nehra (97 kg) and Mohit Grewal (125 kg).

The WFI will distribute the junior and senior championships for the following year during its Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is scheduled to take place in Rohtak on August 25.

"The trend was to allot these events during the nationals towards the end of the season but it leaves the state associations with little time to prepare, so we will do it early this time."