Wrestler Geeta crashes out of London Olympics
London, 09 Aug 2012: India’s lone woman wrestler Geeta Phogat’s campaign in the Olympic Games came to an end when she was trounced by the formidable Tetyana Lazareva of Ukraine in the women’s freestyle 55 kg repechage round at the ExCel stadium here today.
The 23-year-old Geeta was simply no match for her strong Ukrainian opponent who won the bout comfortably with a resounding 3-0 margin in just two periods. Lazareva also bagged three classification points while Geeta got none.
Geeta made it to the repechage rounds when her first round opponent Canada’s Tonya Lynn Verbeeek went all the way to the final. It gave the Indian another chance to have a shot at the bronze medal. The Indian was totally taken off guard by Lazareva in the first period itself with the Ukarainian fetching as many as 8 points to effectly send the Indian packing out of the Olympics.
Geeta made a tactical blunder and her rival took full adavantage of it to nearly pin her down and she could not just wriggle out from that position. Trailing by a huge margin, Geeta put up a better display in the second period but Ukrainian got the one point she required to wrap up the contest.
"I just could not do well in the first round. I got badly entangled and could not come out of her grip. She really took full advantage of my predicament and it was very tough to come back," Geeta said after her bout. Geeta said that her opponent was technically superior and it showed in the way she fought.
"She is a very good wrestler and technically superior than me but she can be beaten," she said.
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.