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Vinesh Phogat loses in semis, injured Bajrang Punia withdraws at Yasar Dogu Ranking Wrestling

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Bajran Punia suffered a left leg injury before competition and had to pull out of his first competition since winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics last year.



File image of Vinesh Phogat(Getty Images)


Vinesh Phogat's much-anticipated comeback to competition at the Yasar Dogu Ranking wrestling series in Istanbul ended in a semi-final defeat on Saturday. Phogat was pinned down 7-3 by former American world champion Jacarra Winchester.

Phogat trailed 3-5 and was battling against the clock as well when she made a last-ditch move. Winchester was ready with a counter, adding two more points before pinning down Phogat, who could not extricate herself.

She later lost the bronze medal bout in repechage round to Russian Ekatarina Isakova 12-5.

Competing in the heavier 55kg category, Phogat, who was back in action after seven months, since her shock second-round exit at the Tokyo Olympics, was far from her best.

She was on the brink in her opening bout too, against compatriot Anju, the under-23 world bronze medallist. Phogat led 5-2 in the second period but Anju fought back with a four-point throw with 30 seconds left. Phogat went for broke and scored through a takedown, closing out the match 8-7.

Bajrang pulls out

Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia pulled out following a left leg muscle injury. Punia has not competed since the Olympics.

“He strained a muscle in his left leg. After consulting the team doctor and physio, we decided it was better to withdraw and give it some rest,” said Punia’s coach Sujeet Mann from Istanbul. “There are many important tournaments this year and we don’t want to take a chance.”

Punia had hurt his knee in a tournament before the Olympics and was in pain during his bronze medal bout. Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Dahiya will be in action on Sunday.

In other weight categories, Pooja Gehlot lost to Tokyo bronze medallist Bolortuya Bat Ochir of Mongolia 12-1 in the pre-quarters. She lost the bronze medal bout 6-2 against Dominique Olivia Parrish of USA. Shivani Pawar lost 11-4 to Poland's Anna Lukasiak in 50kg. In 59kg, Sarita lost 4-3 to Poland's Jowita Wrzesien. Pinki lost to Buse Cavusoglu of Turkey 8-4 in the quarterfinals of 72kg.

In men’s freestyle, Satyawart Kadian lost to USA's Kollin Raymond Moore 12-1 in the quarters.

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