Rome Ranking Series: Vinesh Phogat enters final of 53 kg event with dominating wins; teen sensation Anshu Malik settles for silver in 57 kg

Vinesh will now fight for her first gold of the season, against Ecuador's Luisa Elizabeth Valverde Melendres

Press Trust of India January 17, 2020 19:13:02 IST
Rome Ranking Series: Vinesh Phogat enters final of 53 kg event with dominating wins; teen sensation Anshu Malik settles for silver in 57 kg
  • Vinesh won by technical superiority against Khrystyna Bereza (10-0) and Lannuan Luo (15-5) before getting the better of Qianyu Pang (4-2)

  • Vinesh will now fight for her first gold of the season, against Ecuador's Luisa Elizabeth Valverde Melendres

  • Anshu carried her sparkling form from the trials at her maiden international tournament at the senior level but could not replicate it in the gold medal bout, losing to Nigeria's Odunayo Adekuoroye

Rome: A dominant Vinesh Phogat downed two tough Chinese rivals on her way to the 53kg final of the Rome Ranking Series event after teen sensation Anshu Malik settled for a silver medal in 57kg competition on Friday.

Vinesh won by technical superiority against Khrystyna Bereza (10-0) and Lannuan Luo (15-5) before getting the better of Qianyu Pang (4-2).

Rome Ranking Series Vinesh Phogat enters final of 53 kg event with dominating wins teen sensation Anshu Malik settles for silver in 57 kg

File image of Vinesh Phogat. Image: Twitter @Phogat_Vinesh

If the win against Ukrainian Bereza was about spectacular double leg attacks, the quarterfinal win over the Luo was much tougher than what the score-line suggested.

Luo was a strong opponent, who led 5-2 at the end of the first period but Vinesh turned it around with smart point-scoring moves from nowhere in the second period.

Twice she threw Luo with moves from between the legs when the Chinese was holding her from the back.

Two wrestlers, having immense upper-body strength, jostling for the upper hand from the standing position was a sight to watch.

Fighting a measured bout against Pang, Vinesh was in control in the semi-final, With two takedowns in each period, she led 4-0 and conceded points only towards the end of the fight.

Vinesh will now fight for her first gold of the season, against Ecuador's Luisa Elizabeth Valverde Melendres.

The 18-year-old Anshu carried her sparkling form from the trials at her maiden international tournament at the senior level but could not replicate it in the gold medal bout, losing to Nigeria's Odunayo Adekuoroye.

The 18-year-old was very dominant till the final, beating American Jenna Rose Burkert, Grace Bullen of Norway, 2019 world champion from Canada Linda Morais en route the final.

Anshu had upset world championship bronze medallist Pooja Dhanda during the trials. But Divya Kakran returned empty-handed after losing the 68kg bronze medal play-off bout to Danielle Suzanne Lappage of Canada.

Also in medal contention is Nirmala Devi, who will fight for 50kg bronze after losing her semi-final to Sarah Ann Hildebrandt.

Nirmala was aggressive throughout, going for leg attacks, but the American stayed solid in her defence, reminding the tactics that Vinesh had employed against her at the 2019 World Championship in Nur Sultan.

Nirmala has another American in her way as she will lock horns with Victoria Lacey Anthony.

In the men's freestyle competition, Satyawart Kadiyan (97kg) and Sumit Malik (125kg) exited following their quarterfinal defeats.

Kadiyan lost 0-2 to Ukraine's Murazi Mchedlidze while Sumit suffered defeat by technical superiority against Canada's Amarveer Dhesi.

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