Teenage wrestler Anshu Malik settles for silver in Rome
Malik had fought fearlessly in the earlier rounds but couldn’t replicate the form against Adekuoroye and settled for silver on her international debut in the senior category.Updated: Jan 17, 2020 00:04 IST
Promising India teenager Anshu Malik had to settle for silver after losing to Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye 10-0 by technical superiority in the women’s 57kg freestyle event of the season’s first major competition, the Ranking Series in Rome on Thursday.
Malik had fought fearlessly in the earlier rounds but couldn’t replicate the form against Adekuoroye and settled for silver on her international debut in the senior category.
In the semi-final, she outclassed Jenna Rose Burkert of the United States with a 10-0 scoreline. In the quarter-final, the 18-year-old from Haryana defeated Grace Bullen of Norway. But her most emphatic win came in the pre-quarterfinal where she defeated the 2019 world champion from Canada Linda Morais 10-4. Malik took the lead but Morais came back strongly to narrow the lead to 3-6, but the last 60 seconds were decisive as the Indian continued to amass points with ease.
Against Bullen in the quarters, the Indian trailed 2-4 but with six seconds to go, she made a dramatic comeback to move into the last-four stage. The final score was 4-all in favour of Malik.
During the national selections trials in Lucknow earlier this month, Malik had upset the world championship bronze medallist Pooja Dhanda and then overcome Mansi Ahalawat to seal a berth for the Ranking Series and Asian Championships to be held in New Delhi from February 18-23.
The Wrestling Federation of India had announced before the selection trials that a podium finish in both the Ranking Series and the Asian Championships will guarantee a place in the team for the Asian Olympic qualifiers to be held in Xi’an, China from March 27-29. Going by her current form, Malik is a frontrunner for sealing that slot.
Another promising teenager Sonam Malik, who had stunned Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik in the trials, wasn’t that lucky on her senior debut. The two-time cadet world champion bowed out in the opening round of the 62kg category, losing 10-0 to Macey Ellen Kilty of the US.
National champion Divya Kakran too gave a good account of herself in 68kg but lost to Jakarta Asian Games champion Feng Zhou of China 2-8 in the semi-final.
In Greco-Roman, national champion Gurpreet Singh entered the gold-medal round with ease defeating John Walter Stefanowicz of the US 5-0 in the semis. He will face Turkey’s Burhan Akbudak in the final.
In 87kg category, Sunil Kumar had to settle for silver after losing to Hungary’s Viktor Lorincz 1-2 to.