21st Women’s National Wrestling Championship: Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik Win Gold
Wrestler Sakshi Malik after winning a round at the Tata Motors 21st Women's National Wrestling Championship in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh. (Photo Credit: IANS)

Gonda, December 2: Vinesh Phogat announced her return from injury after a successful day out by grabbing the 57 kilogram title while Sakshi Malik too did not disappoint the crowd as she emerged the champion in the 62 kg on the second day of the Tata Motors Senior Womens National Championship here on Saturday. Vinesh has already established her class by winning the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games titles earlier this year and announced a strong come back after missing the World Championships due to an elbow injury. Bagging her sixth National title, Vinesh just conceded two points in five bouts. She had earlier won five Nationals in a row from 2012 to 2016.

Vinesh, who had suffered a ligament tear in her elbow and had to pull out of this year's World Championships in Budapest, was competing in the 57 kg category rather than her preferred 50 kg class. "I was keen to face heavy competition and see how I am faring. I felt no pain and that is a relief," she said. Vinesh secured the title by taking the score to 10-0 against Babita in the final with more than two-and-a-half minutes left. Virat Kohli, Sunil Chhetri, Sakshi Malik and Other Indian Sports Stars Who Got Married in 2017.

Sakshi, on the other hand, put up a confident show to win the title in the 62 kg without losing a single point. Out of five bouts, she got a walkover in the first round while the final bout ended in just 25 seconds as Anita conceded due to a left knee injury. "I am happy to finish the year with a Gold but my focus for next season will start with Asian Championship," she said.

Ritu Malik, who had a fairly good run this year, faced a surprise setback in the finals of the 65 kg, losing a close semi-final to the very impressive Anita, the 2010 CWG gold medallist. She settled for a bronze after holding off Reshma of Maharashtra. The Railways grapplers continued to show their dominance with an overall show and 188 points, followed by close second Haryana with 186 points and Delhi at the third spot with 93 points. Hosts Uttar Pradesh finished fourth in the overall standings with 92 points.