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London Olympics: Geeta Phogat loses but enters repechage round and Sahana Kumari crashes out

London, Aug 9 (): The 23-year-old Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat, gold-medalist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games was defeated by world number two Canadian Tonya Lynn Verbeek in the quarter-final match of the Women’s 55 kg Freestyle Wrestling event, by a score of 1-3 but enters repechage round.

At the close of the first period, the 34-year-old Canadian pinned her 23-year-old opponent to give her an advantage as the second leg began. After losing the first period, Geeta raised her performance and won the second round 1-0 to level score 1-1 after the first two periods.

But experienced Verbeek turned the table on the Indian with good technique which gave no chance at all to Geeta.
Phogat said after her bout, “I fought hard and gave it all. She is a very strong wrestler and has a lot of experience, so it is not easy to defeat her.”

Geeta entered the repechage round after the Canadian reached the final. According to the rules, wrestler who lost to the finalist goes through to the repechage round where the athlete needs to win two matches to win the bronze.

In another event, the 30-year-old Indian high jumper Sahana Kumari failed to make it past the qualification round at the London Olympics here Thursday. Sahana Kumari sailed over the bar at the first attempt with a 1.80m leap failed to clear the 1.85m mark in all her three attempts and got eliminated.

Sahana, who holds the national record with a jump of 1.92m, could only manage 15th place in group B. Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Radzivil, who took the top spot in Group B with her season’s best of 1.96m along with four others – Belgium’s Tia Helle, USA’s Chaunte Lowe, Russia’s Svetlana Shkolina and Irina Gordeeva — made it to the finals from this Group with a clearance of 1.93m.

As India’s campaign in London Games is nearing an end with only wrestling and a couple of athletics events left and Beijing Olympics bronze winner Sushil Kumar carries the country’s hopes of a gold medal.

The 29-year-old Sushil Kumar who is competing in the men’s 66kg freestyle category on August 12 said “In my category, there are few wrestlers with whom I have not wrestled so far. People back home have lot of expectation, not only from me, but from other wrestlers as well. I am determined to give my best. But then, it is sports, nothing can be predicted for sure.”