Vinesh Phogat yet again fell to Japanese nemesis Mayu Muakida to go out of the gold medal race but Sakshi Malik will fight for the title after winning her semifinal bout at the Asian Wrestling championship here on Friday.

Vinesh had lost twice to Mukaida in 2019 — at World Championship and Asian Championships —and the trend continued as the gritty Indian yet again struggled to break the strong defence of the Japanese.

In a tough opening round, Vinesh tried single leg attacks a number of times but every time Mukaida blocked her move and eventually got the upper body lock to subdue the home favourite.

In her last two meetings, Vinesh had not scored a single point against the 2019 world silver medallist. She managed a takedown this time before eventually losing 2-6.

The hard-working Vinesh will now fight for bronze against Vietnam’s Thi Ly Kieu but even a medal won’t suffice to…

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