The absence of Chinese and North Korean wrestlers was expected to impact the quality of the women’s section at the Senior Asian Championships here and India was the biggest beneficiary, winning three golds and a silver on Thursday.

With Japan also sending a largely second-string squad – barring former world champion Mayu Mukaida — the Indians were favourites for medals. Barring the 50kg, the other four weight categories in action on the day had seven or fewer competitors, forcing the organisers to conduct bouts in Nordic (round-robin) format.

Asian Games bronze medalist Divya Kakran was the first to ensure a gold in the 68kg, winning all four of her bouts in the morning session. More impressively, she won all by pinning her opponents.

“I had to win by fall to get five points from all my bouts because the Japanese was winning all her bouts by big margins, so I took the risk even…

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