India had a chance of winning two gold medals at the Matteo Pellicone ranking series tournament on Thursday. Gurpreet Singh in 82 kg weight category of Greco-Roman and Anshu Malik in 57 kg women’s wrestling had made it to their respective finals.
But in the end, only Singh managed to get the gold medal. In the 82 kg final, he finished a close bout against Burhan Akbudak of Turkey to win 8-5.
Singh had begun the day with a 7-0 win over Florian Neumaier of Germany to reach the quarter-finals. In a high-scoring bout against Dmytro Gardubei of Ukraine’s, Singh won 18-10 by technical superiority. In the semi-final, Singh was more cautious and completed a 5-0 win over John Stefanowicz of the United States.
Last year, Singh had become India’s first Greco-Roman wrestler to win a gold medal in ranking series at Sassari tournament. He repeated the performance to claim his second-ever ranking series gold.
The script, however, was not the same for Malik. After reaching the final of 57 kg in dominant fashion, she finished the day with a tame loss to Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria. She gave up a 0-10 loss in the first period only.
But it was a stunning run from the 19-year-old before that as she made her way through a tough bracket. She began with an upset win over 2019 world champ at 59 kg Canada’s Linda Morais 9-3. In the quarter-final, she came from behind to beat former U-23 world champion Grace Bullen of Norway 4-4. In the semi-final, USA’s Jenna Burkert had no chance against Malik as the Indian wrestler won by technical superiority in 68 seconds.
Malik, who is a former cadet world champion, was making her ranking series debut. She also has a bronze medal at junior world championships and a gold at junior Asian Championships.
India completed the day with one more medal as Sajan Bhanwal won a bronze medal in the 77 kg weight category of Greco-Roman.
India’s 68 kg weight category wrestler Divya Kakran, however, suffered a 2-12 loss in the bronze medal match to Canada’s Danielle Lappage of Canada. In 76 kg, Kiran Godara had suffered a first-round loss to world championships bronze medallist Epp Maee of Estonia. Maee subsequently lost to eventual champion Erica Wiebe of Canada, thus eliminating Godara from the tournament.
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