India’s Anshu Malik won a silver medal at the Wrestling World Championships in Oslo on Thursday, losing a tough 57kg final against Helen Louise Maroulis. The Indian lost the final by fall. Later, Sarita Mor clinched the bronze medal in the women’s 59kg category for India’s 2nd medal at the event.
The 30-year-old American, a former Olympic champ (2016) and a two-time World Champ (2015, 2017) in different weight categories, claimed her third world title. She most recently won the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in this 57kg category.
The pedigreed American was tested by Anshu in the first period, with the Indian starting aggressively and unlucky that it did not reflect on the scoreboard, thanks to Maroulis’ great defence.
Anshu did have a 1-0 lead at the end of the period thanks to a passivity point. But Maroulis came storming out of the gates and had Anshu under pressure with a couple of two-pointers and a 4-1 lead. It soon got worse as Anshu could not get out of the hold the American had on her hand and ended up getting pinned. The Asian champion needed medical attention at the end and was in tears before getting up and walking off.
In the end, it was a historic silver nevertheless for the Olympian.
Alka Tomar (2006), Geeta Phogat (2012), Babita Phogat (2012), Pooja Dhanda (2018) and Vinesh Phogat (2019) had won a bronze each before Oslo with now Anshu and Sarita adding to the count with a silver and bronze in 2021.
Sarita Mor made it a good evening for India’s wrestling contingent that was so far struggling in Oslo. Sarita ended her Worlds medal drought with a convincing 8-2 win over Sweden’s Sara Johanna Lindborg in the bronze play-off.
Indian women have now bettered their best-ever show at the Worlds as winning two bronze in 2012 through the Phogat sisters was the country’s best show.
Sarita stunned the Swede with an early four-pointer and added two more points to her tally with a quick take-down. The reigning Asian champion took a commanding 6-0 lead by the break and pulled off another breathtaking move to race to an 8-0 lead.
Sarita conceded a takedown late in the bout but had a big enough lead to come out the winner. It was her sixth attempt to win a medal at the worlds, having missed out at one U-23 and four senior Worlds, reported PTI. The 26-year-old had previously defeated reigning champion Linda Morais in the round of 16. She then lost to the eventual champion Bilyana Dudova in the semifinal before finishing with bronze.
Meanwhile, Divya Kakran (72kg) lost her repechage round in the morning session to Mongolia’s Davaanasan Enkh Amar and expectedly, the Greco Roman wrestlers put up a disappointing show.
Sandeep (55kg), Vikas (72kg), Sajan (77kg) and Harpreet Singh (82kg) bowed out of the competition. Only Sajan managed to win one bout while the other three lost their respective openers.
With PTI inputs
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