WFI hits female wrestlers hard: The Tribune India



New Delhi, August 12

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is not thrilled that four female wrestlers from India were unable to take advantage of a weak field in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games and missed out on gold.

All 12 Indian wrestlers won medals at the Games, coming away with six gold, one silver and five bronze.

But in the women’s competition, only Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik won gold in the 53kg and 62kg freestyle, respectively, while Anshu Malik (57kg) came back with silver. Pooja Gehlot (50kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) and Pooja Sihag (76kg) settled for bronze despite the low level of competition. In the 50 kg category, only six wrestlers competed. Gehlot lost her fight against Canadian Madison Bianca Parks before winning the bronze medal.

The 76kg class featured eight wrestlers, while the 68kg class featured nine wrestlers, in which minnows like Bangladesh, Mauritius, Cameroon, Tonga and New Zealand were part of the field. However, the biggest disappointment for the WFI has to be Anshu, who was the heavy favorite to win gold. She lost 3-7 to African champion Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye in the final.

“It wasn’t a great show from our female wrestlers. If you don’t win in such a weak field, what does that reflect on your performance,” a WFI official said. “We will sit down with the wrestlers and review the performance. Anshu couldn’t even launch a proper attack against a much older opponent. Wrestlers need to think about that. India is certainly a powerhouse in the CWG, but I don’t think that’s reflected properly in our results,” the official added.

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