Judoka Shushila Devi wins silver in women’s 48kg

India’s L Shushila Devi clinched a silver medal after losing the women’s 48kg final to South Africa’s Michaela Whitebooi at the Commonwealth Games on Monday. In a tight competition, Shushila fought hard before losing the final via ‘Waza-Ari’ in 4.25 minutes.

It was the Indian’s second silver medal at the showpiece. She also finished second at the Glasgow Games in 2014. Earlier, Shushila secured the country a medal after advancing to the final, beating Priscilla Morand of Mauritius.

The 27-year-old from Manipur beat Morand with an “Ippon” to set up a gold medal clash with South Africa’s Michaela Whitebooi. Ippon is a move in which a competitor throws their opponent onto the mat with considerable force and speed so that the opponent lands on their back. An ippon is also awarded when a competitor immobilizes their opponent with a grapple hold for 20 seconds, or when an opponent gives up.

Manipur Police Deputy Inspector Shushila had advanced to the quarter-finals with a win over Malawi’s Harriet Bonface earlier in the day. In the men’s 60kg repechage, Vijay Kumar Yadav produced a superb performance to qualify for the bronze medal match with a victory for ‘Waza Ari’ over Scotland’s Dylon Munro.

A ‘waza-ari’ is awarded after a player has thrown his opponent with control and precision, but not to the extent of an ippon. Yadav, 26, who won the Commonwealth Championships in 2018 and 2019, lost to Australia’s Joshua Katz in the quarter-finals but made amends in the rematch. 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 semi-final to Scotland’s Finlay Allan. Saini, who advanced to the semi-finals earlier in the day, lost after the Scot performed an ‘Ippon’ in a match that lasted just under two and a half minutes. The 24-year-old Saini has a shot at the podium, however, as he takes part 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 medals at the Glasgow 2014 Games, their all-time best show in judo.


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