World and Asian Championship bronze medallist Sarita Mor won her first gold medal of the 2022 season and conceded just two points en route the 59kg title at the Bolat Turlykhanov Cup, a UWW Ranking Series event, in Almaty on Saturday.
Sarita took the mat for three bouts and won all, including the final against Zhala Aliyeva from Azerbaijan, by technical superiority. The gulf in class between Sarita, who won her first World medal last year, and her opponents was huge as none could compete for full six minutes against her. The Indian wrestler was quick to measure her rivals and once she got hold of them, she finished the bouts with a flurry of moves.
“I would agree that the level of competition was a notch below when compared to the Asian Championship. But I had seen the entries in both 57 and 59 kg category and since there was better competition in 59 kg, I competed in this category,” Sarita told PTI. “The target is to qualify for Paris Olympics and my focus would be on that. These victories give confidence,” she added.
Also winning a gold was Manisha, who grabbed the title in 65kg with a commanding 8-0 win over Azerbaijan’s Elis Manolova in the final. It is first international gold for Manisha on the senior circuit, having won a bronze at the Asian Championship in April this year.
Bipasha, though, finished with silver in 72kg after losing a crucial bout 5-7 to home favourite Zhamila Bakbergenova. It is Bipasha’s first medal at the senior level as she has been competing in the junior events till now. Sushma Shaukeen was also impressive as she took home the 55kg bronze by pinning Kazakhstan’s Ainur Ashimova in under two minutes in the play-off.
In the men’s free style, Mohit won the 125kg bronze with a convincing 8-2 win over Sardorbek Kholmatov, taking India’s tally to 10 medals in the tournament.
On Friday, Mansi (57kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) had won gold on Friday while Pooja Sihag (76kg) had grabbed a bronze. Greco Roman wrestler Neeraj had clinched a bronze in 63kg category on Thursday.