Ace wrestler Navjot Kaur won gold medal in the 65kg freestyle wrestling category of Senior Asian Championships held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. With this, she created history by becoming first Indian woman wrestler to win gold medal in Senior Asian Wrestling Championships. This was also India’s first gold in the ongoing championships. In the final match the women’s 65kg freestyle wrestling category, Navjot defeated Japan’s Miya Imai by 9-1 score.
Earlier, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik had who won the bronze in 62kg freestyle category after defeating Kazakhstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova 10-7. These two medals have taken India’s overall medal tally to six, which consisted one gold, silver and four bronze medals.
Key Facts – Asian Wrestling Championships
Navjot Kaur produced a dominating performance in the final of the women’s 65 kg freestyle category to clinch the gold medal in what was a day to remember for Indian wrestling at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. With Sakshi Malik winning the bronze medal in the 62 kg category, India’s medal tally stood at one gold, one silver and four bronze medals on Friday.
In the process, Navjot Kaur became the first Indian woman has stood at the top of the podium at the senior Asian Wrestling Championships.
Marvellous Victory by Navjot Kaur
Navjot Kaur was impressive throughout her final bout against Japan’s Miya Imai as she recorded a convincing 9-1 win while Sakshi Malik emerged from a hard-fought bronze medal playoff against Kazhakstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova with a 10-7 scoreline.
The Japanese wrestler made the initial moves but Kaur stayed strong on defence. A counter-attack from the Indian gave her a 2-0 lead, but it was wiped out after a successful challenge by the Japanese coaches.
With less than 20 seconds left on the clock in the first half of the bout, Kaur was under pressure from Miya Imai again who had caught hold of the Indian’s right leg. Kaur’s defence was solid and she was able to convert it into points on her own, taking a 2-0 lead again and this time around the challenge from Japanese coaches didn’t stand and the scoreline was revised to 5-0 in the Indian’s favour heading into the 30-second break.
With a healthy head in her favour going into the final three minutes, it was a question of Kaur hanging on defensively. As expected Imai came out all guns blazing. With 50 secs left, she got on the scoreboard finally, making it 1-5.
And then came the moment of the bout. With Imai once again targeting Kaur’s right leg, the Punjabi read what was coming and produced a breathtaking counterattacking move – a throwdown resulting in four points a deserved 9-1 win as the clock wound down.
Kaur was in tears as she was paraded around the mat on her coach’s shoulders with the tri-colour draped on her back. The 28-year-old has been around the wrestling circuit a while, as she had previously won silver at the Asian Championships in 2013 and also has a bronze from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Navjot Kaur (born 10 February 1990) is an Indian wrestler. She represented India in the women’s freestyle 67 kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in which she won the bronze medal. She became the first Indian woman wrestler to win an Asian gold medal.
Navjot is one of the two Indian female wrestlers bought by the Bangalore franchise (owned by JSW Sport) of the Pro Wrestling League.
In the Wrestling World Cup held in Ulan-Baatar, Mongolia, Navjot finished third and won the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 67 kg category
At the tournament in New Delhi, India, Navjot faced Hyekung Ham of South Korea in the semi-finals of the women’s freestyle 67 kg category and won 3:1. She then qualified for the gold medal bout against Nasanburmaa Ochirbat of Mongolia but lost 1:3 to settle for the silver medal.