Mansi Ahlawat settles for silver at junior Asian wrestling

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Mansi Ahlawat is still unable to believe that she lost, even after the medal ceremony. She can barely control her emotions while she explains how it was her dream to win the gold medal. With her father Pawan Ahlawat and coach Mandeep in the stands, Mansi reached the finals with dominating wins but could not go past Japan’s Akemi Hanai in the final who won via technical superiority.

“I never thought I would lose 10-0. My father and Mandeep are traveling with me and I wanted to win the gold medal. I had never wrestled the Japanese wrestler before. This was not the way it should have ended,” Mansi says, holding back her tears.

The Junior Asian Championships in Delhi was Mansi’s first event in this category and as the national champion in the 57kg category, she wanted to continue her dominance at the continental level as well. She did that in the first two bouts of the day by defeating Nadia Narin (10-0) and Zhanerka Assanova (11-0) via technical superiority.

For the past four years, Mansi, along with sister Khushi, has been training at the Chhotu Ram Stadium in Rohtak, the same arena where Sakshi Malik trained before her Rio Olympics campaign. But wrestling was not the first sport they tried their hands at. Initially, they trained as gymnasts but their interest veered into wrestling after watching the other girls wrestle at the stadium. Every day, the sisters cycle 10 kilometers to reach the stadium and repeat the drill in the evening. While going back home in the evening, their father Pawan comes to pick them up after wrapping up work at his grocery shop.

“I wanted to win here but now the focus will be on the Junior World Championship which is still two months away. There will be trials for that and I have to win it,” she says. Mansi has been to the World Championships at the cadet level just a week back where she finished seventh. Earlier this year, she finished as the silver medallist at the Asian Cadet Championships, after losing to Ozaki Nonoka in the final.

But she will be back to practice at the Rohtak stadium after next week after spending the weekend in Sheria village in Jhajjar district. There is no lack of inspiration for Mansi at the stadium. She has seen Sakshi train there and has even received some of the Olympic medallist’s clothes when they began wrestling. She hopes to win a medal at the Olympics one day but for now, a revenge against a Japanese wrestler is the only thing on her mind. Other results

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