India’s star female wrestler Vinesh Phogat won her first gold medal of the year 2020 at the Rome Ranking Series event after teen sensation Anshu Malik settled for a silver in 57 kg competition.
The Asian Games gold medalist Vinesh entered the finals of the 53kg event of the Rome Ranking Series wrestling event after overwhelming two rivals from China and then went on to defeat Luisa Elizabeth Valverde of Ecuador to win the first gold medal of 2020.
Vinesh went on to register huge victories over Khrystyna Bereza (10-0) and Lannuan Luo (15-5) due to technical proficiency and then defeated Qianyu Pang (4-2). Vinesh won against Ukrainian Bereza using a ‘double leg’ attack but the victory over Luo in the quarter-finals was a tough one. Luo proved to be a strong opponent who led 5–2 after the first round but Vinesh scored points in the second round with some clever moves as she dropped Luo twice from the leg.
Vinesh was completely under control in the semi-final against Pang and was ahead 4–0 but lost two points in the end.
She then pinned Ecuador’s Louis Elizabeth 4–0 in the final to take the gold home.
The teenage sensation Anshu continued her impressive form of trials to clinch a medal in her first international tournament at the senior level. However, she lost to Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye in the gold medal match due to technical superiority.
The 18-year-old Indian wrestler dominated all the rounds until she reached the finals. Anshu overcame America’s Jenna Ross Burkert, Norway’s Grace Bullen and Canada’s 2019 World Champion Linda Mores on her road to the gold medal match.
However, Divya Kakran missed out on the podium after losing in the bronze medal playoffs.
Competing in 50kg, Nirmala Devi, lost her semi-final to Sarah Ann Hildebrandt and later the bronze play-off to Victoria Lacey Anthony to miss out on a medal.