Ace India wrestler Sakshi Malik lost 7-10 to Aminat Adeniyi of Nigeria in the opening round of the women’s freestyle 62-kg weight category at the ongoing World Wrestling Championships on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Olympic bronze medallist was slow to get off the blocks and conceded a 0-6 lead before scoring her first takedown. She did bounce back in the second round, giving the Nigerian a tough fight, but the lead was well enough for Adeniyi to win the match 10-7.
Sakshi, however, isn’t out of the tournament yet. If Adeniyi reaches the final then Sakshi has a shot at the Bronze medal through the repechage rounds.
Earlier, Divya Kakran also had a difficult opening bout against Olympic champion Sara Dosho of Japan as she lost the bout 0-2 in the 68-kg weight category.
21-year-old Divya would also be hoping that Dosho reaches the final so that she can make it to the repechage round.
However, the freestyle men have started their World Championships campaign all guns blazing with Ravi Kumar also now winning his opening bout.
Seeded 25th, Ravi, in 57kg freestyle, was fighting Kim Sunggwon of Korea and the Indian sealed the victory with an 11-4 scoreline in just 2 minutes and 59 seconds.
Earlier in the day, World No 1 Bajrang Punia kicked off his campaign with a 9-2 win over Poland’s Krzysztof Bienkowski. He opened up a 5-0 lead in the first round after Bienkowski challenged a call and it was rejected. The Polish grappler got 2 points immediately after the restart but Bajrang was never to be denied.