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Tokyo Olympics Wrestling: Sonam Malik falters in opening bout, will wait for a repechage round on Olympic debut

19-year-old Sonam Malik lost to the Asian silver medallist Khurelkhuu on separation criteria in her maiden Olympic bout.

Sonam Malik

Budding wrestler Sonam Malik lost her opening bout on criteria to Mongolia’s Bolortuya Khurelkhuu in the women’s 62kg category. Sonam was impressive in her maiden Olympic bout as she took the lead with a push-out point. There was hardly any action during a major part of the bout. No move was made till one and a half minutes.

It was in the second half of the first period that Sonam scored a push-out point to take a 1-0 lead and kept that till the end of the period. Having scored yet another push-out point, the 19-year-old kept the Mongolian at bay. But the experienced Khurelkhuu went for the right leg in the dying moments of the game to score a crucial takedown.

A bronze still in sight for Sonam Malik

Sonam Malik

With the scores level at the end of the second period, Khurelkhuu was adjudged the winner on the basis of separation criteria. As it was the Asian silver medalist who scored the final points.

Sonam Malik, a two-time Cadet World Champion, made it to the Tokyo Games after qualifying for the final of the Asian Qualifier in April in Almaty. While she went down in her very first bout, all hopes are not lost for teenage sensation. If the Mongolian makes the final, Sonam will get a repechage round to be in contention for the bronze medal.

India hasn’t had a good day at the Summer Games today. Javelin thrower Annu Rani managed only 54m throw in the qualifications as she failed to make it to the finals. Later, the Indian men’s hockey team lost in the semifinal to Belgium 5-2 despite a gutsy performance.

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