Anshu Malik, on Thursday, reached the final of the 57kg competition at the Rome Ranking series event, assuring herself of a silver medal on what has been an impressive senior level debut for the teenager.
Outclassing her American rival Jenna Rose Burkert, Anshu finished the semifinal bout in the first period itself with a flurry of moves, that began with a takedown from a left-leg attack. The junior Asian Champion then produced gut wrenches in a jiffy, winning on technical superiority.
The 18-year-old had downed 2018 World championship bronze medallist during the trials to claim a place in the Indian team. Anshu had begun with a win by technical superiority over Spain’s Maria Victoria Baez Dlione and followed it up with victories over Linda Morais and Grace Jacob Bullen.
She will now fight it out with Nigeria’s Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye in then final. While Anshu shone bright, Sonam Malik, who had stunned Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi Malik, lost her opening 62kg bout by technical superiority to American Macey Ellen Kilty.
In the 68kg, Divya Kakran will fight for a bronze medal after losing her semifinal to Feng Zhou of China on technical superiority. In the 76kg, Kiran was ousted from the competition following defeat in the pre-quarterfinal against Estonba’s Epp Maee.
Meanwhile, in Greco-Roman competition, Sunil Kumar won silver in the 87kg class after losing the final 1-2 to Hungary’s Viktor Lorincz.
However, Indian squad is still in gold medal contention with Gurpreet Singh reaching the final of the 82kg with a dominant show. He did not lose a point in the semifinal against American John Walter Stefanowicz, winning 5-0. Before that, he won by technical superiority in the high-scoring quarterfinal against Ukraine’s Dmytro Gardubei.
Sajan Bhanwal (77kg) is in bronze medal contention and he will fight it out with Turkey’s Emrah Kus. Sachin Rana (60kg) and Ashu (67kg) missed out on podium finishes after losing their respective bronze play-offs.
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