Birmingham: Indian judoka L Shushila Devi assured the country of a medal after progressing to the women’s 48kg final, beating Priscilla Morand of Mauritius at the Commonwealth Games here on Monday.
The 27-year-old from Manipur took down Morand with an ‘Ippon’ to set up a gold medal clash with Michaela Whitebooi of South Africa.
Ippon is a move in which a contestant throws his opponent to the mat with considerable force and speed so that the opponent lands on his back. An ippon is also awarded when a contestant immobilizes his opponent with a grappling hold-down for 20 seconds, or when an opponent gives up.
A sub-inspector with Manipur Police, Shushila had progressed to the quarterfinals with a win over Harriet Bonface of Malawi earlier in the day.
In men’s 60kg repechage, Vijay Kumar Yadav produced a superb performance to advance to the bronze medal match with a win by ‘Waza Ari’ over Dylon Munro of Scotland.
A ‘waza-ari’ is awarded after a player throws his opponent with control and accuracy, but not to the extent of an ippon.
The 26-year-old Yadav, who has won the Commonwealth Championships in 2018 and 2019, had lost to Joshua Katz of Australia in the quarterfinal but made amends in the reprechage. He will face Petros Christodoulides of Cyprus in the bronze medal match.
Jasleen Singh Saini will also fight for a bronze medal after losing the men’s 66kg semifinal to Scotland’s Finlay Allan.
Saini, who sailed into the semifinals earlier in the day, lost after the Scot performed an ‘Ippon’ in a match that lasted a little less than two and half minutes.
The 24-year-old Saini, however, has a chance to earn a podium finish as he will compete in the bronze medal play-off against Australian Nathan Katz later tonight.
Suchika Tariyal has already reached the bronze medal round after defeating Donne Breytenbach of South Africa in the women’s 57kg repechage.
India had won two silver and two bronze at the Glasgow 2014, their best ever show in judo.
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