Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat clinched a bronze in her new 53kg weight category at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xian, China on Friday. Vinesh has moved up to a higher category from 50kg in which she had won a gold in the Jakarta Asian Games after rejigging of weight classes by the world governing body for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She had competed in 53kg at the UWW Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tourney in Bulgaria last month and secured a silver medal. Vinesh had a disappointing start as she lost to Mayu Mukaida of Japan, who came through the qualification round. The Japanese were declared a 10-0 winner in a victory by technical superiority verdict.
But since her opponent reached the final, Vinesh featured in the repechage round where she beat Jo Cih Chiu of Taipei in a 6-0 victory by fall verdict. In the bronze medal play-off, Vinesh beat Qianyu Pang of China 8-1. In the women's 72kg category, Kiran crashed out in the quarterfinals as she lost 4-7 on points at the hands of Zhamila Bakbergenova of Kazakhstan.
Manju Kumari suffered a defeat at the hands of Battsetseg Altantsetseg of Mongolia 6-15 in the last four stages to settle for a place in the bronze-medal round of 59kg. She will fight it out with Thi Huong Dao for a podium finish.
Manju had earlier beaten Kazakhstan's Madina Bakbergenova 5-3 in the quarterfinals. Seema will also vie for a third-place finish in 50kg, where she will face Valentina Ivanovna Islamova Brik of Kazakhstan. She defeated Meng Hsuan Hsieh of Chinese Taipei in her repechage bout 10-2. Seema had earlier lost to Yuki Irie of Japan in the qualification round but made the repechage after her Japanese rival reached the final.
However, India's campaign got over early in the 55kg and 76kg weight divisions when Lalita and Pooja lost their respective quarterfinal bouts to bow out of the tournament.