India’s Shushila Devi Likmabam lost to South Africa’s Michaela Whitebooi by a Waza-Ari in the final to settle for the silver medal in Women’s 48kg judo competitions of the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Coventry Arena near here on Monday.
Though Shushila’s failure to win India’s maiden gold medal in the Commonwealth Games judo competition was disappointing, India had another success on the day as Vijay Kumar Yadav won a bronze medal in the Men’s 60kg division. However, there was disappointment as Jasleen Singh Saini, and Suchika Tariyal lost out on a bronze medal each in the Men’s 66 kg and Women’s 57 kg respectively.
Shushila had won a silver medal in the 2014 edition of the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow and was expecting a gold here but the Indian could not break through against her South African opponent and lost by a Waza-Ari, the minimum point a player could win a judo match.
After the two players had bagged two penalties each and were unable to put together a scoring attack in normal time in the very tight contest, the South African girl got an attack going in the Golden Score period, in which the first to score wins. She bagged a Waza-Ari for the attack thus ending the hopes of the 27-year-old Indian from Manipur.
Vijay Yadav defeated Petros Christodoulides of Cyprus in the bronze medal match in Men’s 60kg, winning by an Ippon in normal time. Vijay was too good for his opponent and did not give him many chances, claiming two Waza-Ari within the first minute. He had a 10-0 advantage over his opponent when he was declared the winner.
Though he was satisfied with winning his first Commonwealth Games medal, Yadav was disappointed as he had expected to win the gold medal.
“I am disappointed as I had expected to win gold medal. But by contesting here, I have realised some shortcomings in my game and will be working on them in time for the Paris Olympics,” said Yadav. He said he will be making a dash to Kazakhstan on Tuesday to participate in the Asian Championship starting on Wednesday.
India have so far bagged three silver and five bronze medals in the Commonwealth Games as judo has appeared on the programme on and off since 1990. It was contested in the 2014 edition in Glasgow but was dropped for the 2018 edition in Gold Coast.
Earlier in the morning, Sushila defeated Harriet Bonface of Malawi by an ippon to reach the semifinals.
Indians were also in contention for three more medals in judo as Vijay Kumar in Men’s 60kg, Jasleen Singh Saini in Men’s 66kg and Suchika Tariyal in women’s 57kg reached the bronze medal playoffs.
In Men’s 60kg, Vijay Kumar started well and won his first-round match before losing to Australia’s Joshua Katz in the quarterfinals. He went into the repechage rounds and defeated Dylan Munro of Scotland by a Waza-Ari to set up a bronze medal match against Petros Christodoulides of Cyprus in the evening.
In Men’s 66kg division, Jasleen Singh Saini lost to Scotland’s Finlay Allan in the semifinals by an Ippon and will now figure in the bronze medal match against Nathan Katz of Australia.
In the women’s 57kg, Suchika Tariyal lost to Canada’s Christa Deguchi of Canada in the quarterfinal 11-0 by an Ippon before coming through the repechage stage by defeating Donne Breytenbach of South Africa by an ippon to set up a bronze medal clash with Christianne Legentr of Mauritius in the bronze medal match.