Wrestling: Nisha Dahiya emerges as National champion a day after reports of her death

Nisha Dahiya of India and Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan during the Asian Wrestling Olympic Qualifier on April 10, 2021 UWW/MB Media/Getty Images

It was a "perfect and happy ending" for Nisha Dahiya, as she emerged National champion in the Women's 65kg category, a day after her dramatic "murder story" turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

The title clash ended in just 30 seconds, with Nisha, the U-23 World Championship Bronze medalist, pinning her rival Jaspreet Kaur from Punjab. Except for her semifinal against Haryana's Priyanka, it turned out to be an easy day at the office for the 23-year-old Nisha, who represents Railways.

"It indeed is a happy and perfect end to my campaign. I was so stressed yesterday. I could not even sleep. I was already low on energy due to the weight cut and this incident just proved too much to handle," Nisha told PTI after winning her third gold medal at the Nationals.

It was reported that Nisha had been shot dead in Sonepat, but later it came to light that the deceased was her name sake and an upcoming wrestler.

Nisha's agility and attacking moves were too hot to handle for her opponents. She stood out with her leg attacks.

"Of course, an athlete wants to be discussed and talked about but I am sure not in this way. I want people to know me for my performance and not for such freak incidents," she said.

"I got so many calls that I had to switch off my phone. It was becoming tense and I wanted to stay focused on my competition. Eventually, it did not affect my performance," said Nisha, who is coached by Arjuna awardee Satyawart Kadian.

Before the final, both 65kg semifinals were fast-paced and furiously fought. Jaspreet edged out Haryana's Shafali 6-4 while Nisha prevailed 7-6 against Priyanka. Shafali and Priyanka, expectedly, won bronze medals by winning their respective play-offs. If groomed well, both youngsters are expected to be good prospects for India in the future.

The two finalists in each category will represent India at the Commonwealth Championship, scheduled to be held in Pretoria, South Africa from December 3-5.

While the gold medal winner will travel at the government's expense, the runner-up will have to go on his own. The WFI may ask for trials in men's freestyle 92kg since Deepak Punia, who skipped the Nationals due to an injury, has expressed interest in competing.