Poland Ranking Series: Vinesh clinches 53kg freestyle gold (Ld)


Tokyo Olympic Games bound wrestler Vinesh Phogat won the women’s 53kg freestyle gold with an 8-0 win over Khrystyna Bereza of Ukraine at the Poland Ranking Series here on Friday.

With less than 50 days to go for the Olympic Games to begin, Vinesh looked strong in defence and swift in attacks and counter-attacks.

The gold-winning effort of Vinesh is likely to improve her seeding in the 53kg freestyle event at the Olympics, to be held from July 23 to August 8.

In the final match, Vinesh went up 2-0 in the opening 70 seconds of the bout. With less than two minutes on board, she led 4-0.

Khrystyna struggled to keep pace with Vinesh in the initial stages of the bout. As the match progressed, the Ukranian made some good moves but Vinesh was quick to wriggle out of the tricky situations.

With less than two minutes to go for the long whistle, Vinesh unleashed another attack to increase the margin to 6-0.

Khrystyna tried to reduce the gap in the last 60 seconds of the match but was unsuccessful as Vinesh was in no mood to concede points.

Vinesh made it 8-0 in the last 30 seconds of the contest to pocket the gold medal. Khrystyna settled for silver.

Earlier, in the semis Vinesh scored an emphatic 6-0 win over Amy Ann Fearnside of USA. She defeated Russia’s Ekaterina Poleshchuk 6-2 in her first bout of the 53kg.

Meanwhile, India’s Anshu Malik pulled out of the women’s 57kg freestyle event as she was down with fever.

On Wednesday, Deepak Punia, who has qualified for the Olympics in the men’s 86 kg freestyle withdrew from the ranking series due to a niggle in the left hand while Ravi Kumar Dahiya won silver in the men’s 57 kg freestyle category.

After the Poland Ranking Series, the Wrestling Federation of India will conduct a national coaching camp in Warsaw. The team will return home in the first week of July.