Grappler Geeta bows out meekly at London Olympics
By PTI - LONDON
09th August 2012 08:19 PM
India's lone woman wrestler, Geeta Phogat crashed out of the London Olympics after she was blanked 3-0 by Tetyana Lazareva of Ukraine in the repechage round two bout in the 55kg freestyle category at the ExCel Arena here today.
Geeta was overwhelmed by the 31-year-old Ukraine girl, who started on an aggressive note to nearly pin down the Indian with her superior technique and strength.
In the first period, Tetyana bagged eight technical points while in the second round, she gathered one more to emerge clear winner over the 23-year-old Geeta.
Earlier, Geeta had remained in the medal hunt despite losing her pre-quarterfinal bout after her vanquisher Tonya Lynn Verbeek of Canada reached the final.
Geeta, who had lost 1-3 to Verbeek, was in the reckoning for a bronze medal through the repechage round.
Geeta had to beat Tetyana in the first bout of the repechage round but she rather surrendered tamely, much to the dismay of the Indian supporters here.
In the pre-quarterfinal, Geeta threw away an advantageous position in the first period against Verbeek as she failed to make the most of the clinch awarded in her favour.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist raised her performance and won the second period 1-0 to level the scores.
But Verbeek, who has an Olympic silver and bronze medal to her credit, relied on all her experience to turn the table on the Indian in the third and decisive period of the match.
Verbeek went on to beat Lazareva in the quarterfinal before making a light work of Castillo in the semifinal.
Geeta, who won the gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, said that she lacked the experience and was a little overawed by the situation.
"You need a little bit of experience to do well in the Olympics. I lacked that experience. But I have age on my side and will keep learning from international events," she said.
On her earlier fight with Tonya Lynn Verbeek of Canada, she said: "On my first match to the Canadian I failed to take the clinch and score. That was my mistake."
"In the repechage, I was down in the first round so I had to take a lot of risk in the second round against the Ukranian girl. I am not unhappy with the performance."
On being the first female wrestler to represent India at the Olympic Games, she said: "I need more international exposure and then I will be ready. I come from a village where traditionally girls don't go out and play sport so I struggled a lot to come this far and to get to this position where I am at the Olympics.
"Today everyone in my village recognises me. I am very proud to be here and I am hoping to be at the next Olympics."
Earlier in the day, Geeta began her Olympic campaign on a dismal note as she lost her first round bout against world number 2 Verbeeek.
Geeta went down to the Canadian who recorded a 4-2 victory on points. The Canadian, who turns 35 next week, also got three classification points as compared to Geeta's one point.
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