Vinesh Phogat beat reigning European champion Vanessa Kaladzinskay 10-8 in the final to win her first tournament in a year at the XXIV Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial in Kyiv on Sunday.
Vinesh opened up a 4-0 lead with a throw which she initiated with a left-leg attack, but Kaladzinskay made it 4-4 with her brilliant move. Vinesh took the break leading 6-4, adding to her score with a takedown, 10 seconds before the break.
The Belarusian put pressure on the Indian with another four-point throw, but with 25 seconds to go, Vinesh's move fetched her a 10-8 lead. She got into a position from where she pinned Kaladzinskay to ensure herself a gold.
Phogat has already sealed a berth in the 53kg category at Tokyo Olympics. The Indian wrestler has been training in Europe since November 2020. Phogat will compete in the Matteo Pellicone event in Rome from March 10 to 15. The Olympics-qualified wrestler was allowed to skip the Individual World Cup held in Serbia in December following the COVID-induced break. Vinesh won gold at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2018 Asian Games.
The Rome meet, a Ranking Series event featuring several elite wrestlers, will give the athletes good preparation ahead of the Games.
Two-time World championships medallist Nurislam Sanayev (57kg),Worlds silver medallist Daulet Niyazbekov(65kg), London Olympics gold medallist Jordan Burroughs, and Worlds and Olympic medallist Frank Chamizo(74kg) will be some of the leading names in men’s freestyle events.
(With input from PTI)
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