India’s star grappler Vinesh Phogat kept up her good form ahead of Tokyo Olympics with a commanding day of wrestling in the 53kg category at the Poland Open in Warsaw on Friday.
Vinesh defeated Khrystyna Bereza of Ukraine in the final by a comfortable scoreline of 8-0 to clinch gold after dropping just two points in the three bouts combined. The Indian spaced out her attacks over the six minutes and took most of her points through double-leg attacks while the 2019 European silver medallist Bereza was on the defensive throughout.
The victory would potentially make Vinesh the top seed at the Tokyo Olympics, according to PTI.
Vinesh has now won her third gold in as many recognised UWW tournaments this season, having won titles in Matteo Pellicone (March) and Asian Championship (April). She had also won gold at an event in Kiev earlier in the year.
Vinesh Phogat at Polan Open
|QF||RUS - Ekaterina POLESHCHUK||2||By points||6||IND - Vinesh VINESH|
|SF||IND - Vinesh VINESH||6||By Fall||0||USA - Amy Ann FEARNSIDE|
|Final||IND - Vinesh VINESH||8||By points||0||UKR - Khrystyna BEREZA|
Earlier in the day, Tokyo-bound Anshu Malik pulled out of the 57kg competition due to a fever, reported PTI. Ravi Kumar Dahiya, also headed to the Olympics, had won the silver medal in the men’s 61kg freestyle.
Vinesh progressed to the final with two slightly contrasting wins on Friday.
While she had to battle against 2019 Worlds bronze winner Ekaterina Poleshchuk in her opening bout before prevailing 6-2, Vinesh needed only 75 seconds to pin her American rival Amy Ann Fearnside.
The 26-year-old can faced a tough start against Poleshchuk, whose defence was pretty strong.
Vinesh went for a left-leg attack but the Russian took the Indian down on counter for a 2-0 lead which she maintained throughout the first period. Moments before the break, Vinesh initiated another move but could not complete.
Early in the second period, Vinesh had Russian in trouble with a double leg attack as she levelled the score and then got two more points when Ekaterina committed a technical violation and was cautioned.
Vinesh completed the win with one more take-down move.
It was a comfortable win in the next round, though, as Vinesh pinned American rival opponent in just 75 seconds. She was leading 6-0 at that time.
(With PTI inputs)
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