Vinesh Phogat's chances of winning a gold medal got a huge jolt when she lost to Japanese reigning world champion Maya Mukaida 7-0 in the pre-quarter-finals of the World Wrestling Championships today.
Though Vinesh's chance of winning a gold might be over she still has a chance to win bronze through repechage and earn a spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if her Japanese opponent makes it to the final. If Mukaida reaches the finals then Vinesh will face World no one Sarah Hilderbrandt in her next bout while Mukaida takes on Greek Maria Prevolaraki in the semi-final after decimating Hilderbrandt 12-1 in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, Vinesh had a great start to her campaign she beat Olympic bronze medallist Sofia Mattsson 13-0 in the qualifying round. However, Vinesh lost 0-7 in the game as Mukaida dominated the game. The first 60-70 seconds of the game remained without scores as they measured each other. Vinesh lost a point on passivity and from there on, the Japanese began to dominate. A take-down, followed by an expose and another take-down gave the Japanese a commanding 7-0 lead. Vinesh needed to attack but Mukaida's defence was like an immovable rock. The Indian made two double-leg attacks and also got hold of Mukaida's left leg but could not convert those moves into points. Vinesh has Commonwealth Games and Asian Games titles to her but is yet to win a world title. This became the second consecutive defeat against the Japanese for the champion.
In other matches involving Indian women wrestler, Seema, Komal Bhagwal Gole and Lalitha Shekhwat all lost in the quarter-final stage of the championship and like Vinesh will wait to see the result of their opponent to whom they lost to have a slim chance of bagging a bronze & qualifying for the Olympics. In the men's section, Naveen lost his 130kg Greco-Roman repechage match against Estonia's Heike Nabi 9-0. Vinesh has Commonwealth Games and Asian Games titles to her but is yet to win a world title. This became the second consecutive defeat against the Japanese for the champion.