Indian women grappler Pooja Gehlot (53kg) entered the finals after beating Turkey's Zeynep Yetgil in the semifinals of the UWW Under-23 World Championships in Budapest on Thursday. Pooja scripted a superb come back as she fought her way from a 2-4 deficit to win 8-4 against Yetgil, a gold medallist at the Junior European Wrestling Championships in 2018. In the summit clash on Friday, Pooja will be up against Haruno Okuno of Japan. No Indian has ever won a gold in the last three editions of the UWW Under-23 World Championships. Ravinder had settled for a silver medal on Wednesday after going down to Kyrgyzstan's Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov in the 61kg final.
It was a fantastic display from the youngster who started from the qualifying stages, where she demolished Ekaterina Verbina of Russia 8-3. In the quarter-finals, Gehlot blazed through her bout, notching up a commanding 8-0 win to set up a semi-final showdown against Zeynep Yetgil, gold medallist at the Junior European Wrestling Championships in 2018. Gehlot is the second Indian woman wrestler to remain in contention for a medal after Jyoti (50kg) made it to the bronze medal contest, which is also scheduled to take place tonight. In 50kg, Jyoti's hopes of getting a bronze were dashed when she was blanked 0-10 by Russia's Nadezhda Sokolova.
In 57kg, Pinki Rani advanced to the quarters from the qualifiers after registering a one-sided 5-0 victory over Arian Geralin Carpio of the USA. Her run came to an end in the last-eight at the hands of Hannah Fay Taylor, who edged her 2-1 in a gritty contest. None of the other Indians in action could win a round.
While Ukraine's Ilona Prokopevniuk was declared a 2-0 winner by fall over Reshma Mane in 62kg, Nisha exited with a 3-11 loss to Maya Gabriella Nelson of the USA in 65kg. In 72kg, Naina suffered the same fate when she was shown the door by Cuba's Milaimys de la Caridad Marin Potrille after a 13-3 victory.