Navjot Kaur clinches India's first gold at Asian Wrestling Championships
Navjot Kaur scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win gold at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships, in Kyrgyzstan on Friday.
Navjot thrashed Japan's Miya Imai 9-1 in the final to emerge champion in the women's 65 kilogramme category. Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik took bronze in the women's 62kg category with a hard-fought 10-7 win in the play-off over Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazhakstan.
India now has a medal tally of one gold, one silver and four bronze in the competition. Navjot dominated the final bout and relied on her strong defence to thwart Miya's fast-paced attacks in the initial stages.
She opened up a 2-0 lead with a counter-attack before bolstering the advantage to 5-0 just before the break.
Miya was forced to adopt an attacking approach in the second and final round but Navjot continued to dominate and wrap up a comprehensive win.
India now has a medal tally of one gold, one silver and four bronze in the competition. In a conversation with Scroll, she said,
This pressure was something that every athlete was having at the Asian Championships. But this time, I decided, No, I will compete without pressure. I have just one chance to prove myself, so I was prepared. I won’t feel any pressure, let me go and play my natural game. Now I have won and I’m proud to become the first woman from India to win a gold at the Asian Championships.
She further said,
"I have been preparing for this and waiting for this for very long. At the national camp, I was supported and motivated by the whole team, including the coaches and the medical staff. I was a bit nervous, being on this platform and you have a lot of load on your shoulders. But I was confident. I was encouraged too: ‘No, you can do it, you can beat Japan, it’s not something that you can’t achieve."
With inputs from IANS