Reetika Hooda became only the second Indian and first woman wrestler from the country to become the U-23 World Champion with her title triumph in the 76kg event while Jyoti Berwal got herself in contention to join the champions list by reaching the 72kg gold medal bout.
Reetika, who is making a transition from junior to senior circuit, beat American Kennedy Alexis Blades 9-2 in the final. Reetika, who trains at Chhotu Ram Akhara in Rohtak, had last year won U-20 World Championship and senior Asian Championship bronze medals in April this year.
Men’s free-style wrestler Aman Sehrawat (57kg) had become the first Indian to become U-23 World champion last year. In the women’s 72kg event, 18-year-old Jyoti began with a crushing 9-0 win over Ukraine’s Ityna Zablotska in the quarter-finals and followed that up with an impressive 7-0 victory over Turkey’s Bukrenaz Sert.
In the final, she is up against 19-year American Amit Elor, who is also yet to concede a point in the championship.
Reena won the 57kg bronze with a 8-2 win over Canada’s Mia Katherine Friesen while Bhagyashree Hanumant Fand (62kg) will take on Irina Kuznetsova of Kazakhstan in the bronze play-off.
Monika (65kg) is set to clash with American Macey Ellen Kilty. All the Indian wresters are playing under UWW flag since the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) stands suspended for not holding its elections on time.