Teenager Anshu in the hunt for gold at Individual World Cup

Anshu will face European champion Anastasia Nichita in the 57kg final at the Individual World Cup next. Sakshi Malik, meanwhile, was ousted in her opening round.

By Naveen Peter ·

One of India’s exciting new talents, Anshu produced a fine show to book her place in the title bout of the 57kg category of women’s wrestling at the Individual World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia on Tuesday.

The Indian wrestler was on the money at the Belgrade Fair as she outclassed Russia’s Veronika Chumikova with a victory by fall (7-4) in the semi-finals. 

Though the Russian grappler was quick to grab a 4-0 lead in the opening minute, Anshu did well to close the gap to 4-3 in the opening round.

An ankle hold and the resulting takedown brought the first points for the Indian wrestler while the 19-year-old Anshu added another one by pushing her opponent out of bounds just before the referee called for a break.

What stood out in the first round was the Anshu’s defence as she blocked Veronika Chumikova’s attacks on several occasions and managed to keep her shoulders high despite engaging in headlocks. 

On resumption, Anshu was quick to go for the Russian’s leg and wasted no time in pinning her down to end the bout.

The Indian grappler will face European champion Anastasia Nichita of Moldova in the Individual World Cup gold medal bout on Wednesday.

Pinki misses out on medal

Pinki, however, couldn’t continue her winning run at the Individual World Cup, losing the bronze medal fight in the 55kg division on technical superiority.

Pinki was no match for the reigning European champion Olga Khoroshavtseva of Russia at the Individual World Cup. Photo: UWW

Up against the reigning European champion in the category, Olga Khoroshavtseva of Russia, the Indian wrestler was second best as she was thoroughly dominated by her much-experienced opponent in a 10-0 verdict.

Bossing the mat from the opening whistle, the Russian was quick to register her first points, a leg glance shaking Pinki’s balance to allow Olga Khoroshavtseva inflict the first takedown.

The Russian used the mat well as her circular motions had Pinki in bother throughout the match.

Though the Indian bench urged the young wrestler into going for the opponent’s legs, Pinki could hardly find an opening as Olga Khoroshavtseva ensured she stayed true to her style and mixed her movements to cancel any chance of an ankle hold.

The 26-year-old Russian was the superior of the two wrestlers and it showed on the scoreboard soon as Olga Khoroshavtseva capped off an impressive year with another international medal.

Sakshi Malik falls short

Meanwhile, in the morning session, Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik was ousted in the opening round of the 65kg category.

Competing in a non-Olympic weight division, the Indian wrestler was off-colour as the reigning European champion Mimi Hristova of Bulgaria registered a commanding 11-0 win on technical superiority in a bout that lasted for less than two minutes.

In the 59kg category, Sarita Mor too met a similar fate as she failed to match up to the strength of Germany’s Sandra Paruszewski.

Though the 25-year-old Sarita Mor stayed in the bout in the opening round, Sandra Paruszewski was untouchable in the second as the German brought her ‘A’ game to the fore to record a 9-2 in their quarter-final bout.

In the 76kg category, though Indian wrestler Kiran ran the reigning Olympic champion, Erica Wiebe of Canada close, she couldn’t register a single point, losing the match 2-0.