On Thursday, Pooja Dhanda became the only fourth Indian woman grappler and first in six years to win a bronze at the World Championship with a stunning 10-7 win after defeating 2017 European Champion Grace Jacob Bullen.
The 24-year old managed to pull off a four-point throw in each of the two periods in the 57kg contest to deliver the best performance of her career.
Previously Pooja won a silver in the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast. For Pooja, this is the second significant achievement of the season.
Before Pooja, it was Alka Tomar(2006), Geeta Phogat(2012) and Babita Phogat(2012) have won the bronze medal for India at the Worlds.
It is India’s second medal at the ongoing championship after Bajrang Punia won Silver in the men’s freestyle 65kg category.
“It’s a proud moment for me. I have made my country proud with this medal. I am happy with this effort. In the beginning, I had a chance for a counter-attack and I got a great lead. I was confident that I will pull it off,” said Pooja Dhanda.
“Bullen is active with her upper body, I had seen her bouts, so my coaches planned that I block my arms and work on the lower body. So attacked on the legs and got the point,” an elated Pooja said about her opponent.
Ritu Phogat, who earlier attempted Pooja’s bout lost her bronze medal and none of the four Greco Roman grapplers could win even a single match.
Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik yet again failed to reach the top three. Sakshi had a 2-1 lead but failed to defend against Hungary’s Marianna Sastin for the last seven seconds and ended up playing too defensive.
The Greco Roman competition began today and all the four wrestlers, Vijay (55kg), Gaurav Shara ( 63kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg) and Harpreet Singh (82kg) crashed out after losing their Qualifier rounds.