Sakshi in repechage round, injury ends Vinesh's hopes

PTI8_17_2016_000334B Russian wrestler Valeria Koblova celebrates after winning against Sakshi Malik in the quarterfinal of the women's freestyle 58kg category at Rio de Janeiro | PTI

Wrestler Sakshi Malik's bronze medal hopes were rekindled after she entered the repechage round, after Valeria Koblova reached the final of the 58kg freestyle category. Koblova had beaten Sakshi in the quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, Vinesh Phogat was stretchered off after suffering a knee dislocation during her quarterfinal bout of the 48kg freestyle category against China's Sun Yanan at the Rio Olympics. First point of the bout went to Vinesh with her Chinese opponent showing passivity but Sun Yanan soon hit back with a single-leg takedown to earn two points. The Chinese suddenly pinned the Indian down in an awkward position and Vinesh sustained an injury to her right knee, which forced her to forfeit the bout 1-2.

The 21-year-old, who was touted as a medal prospect for India, was seen grimacing in pain as she was treated for about five minutes before being stretchered off for medical treatment.

She would not be able to fight in the repechage round even if the Chinese reaches the final.

"We all are awaiting MRI report but she cannot fight again," India's Chef de Mission, Rakesh Gupta said.

"It seems she has dislocated her right knee. The medical scan will exactly reveal the nature of the injury," coach Kuldeep Singh said.

Meanwhile, Sakshi went down in the quarterfinals of 58kg losing 2-9 to Valeria Koblova of Russia. Earlier, she had made strong comebacks in both her initial round bouts to advance to the quarterfinals.

After conceding one point in the first period of her quarterfinal fight because of passivity, Sakshi did well to earn two points in the second period with a takedown.

But the Russian girl hit back to pocket four points before gaining another two to take a 7-2 lead. She earned two points again to win the bout 9-2 and make the semifinals.

After coming back from a 0-4 down to post an impressive 5-4 win over her Swedish opponent Malin Johanna Mattsson in the qualification round, Sakshi eked out a narrow 5-5 win against Mariana Cherdivara Esanu of Republic of Moldova in the pre-quarters.

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