Vinesh Phogat wins gold at Rome Ranking Series event

Vinesh Phogat beat Luisa Melendres 4-0 in the final (53 kg) of Rome Ranking series to win the first gold medal of 2020.

Vinesh Phogat defeated Ecudor’s Luisa Elizabeth Melendres 4-0 in the final (53 kg) of Rome Ranking series on Friday to win her first gold medal of the 2020 season.

A dominant Vinesh clinched the yellow metal after teen sensation Anshu Malik settled for a silver in 57kg competition.

It was a tough road to the final for the Indian grappler as she downed two tough Chinese rivals on her way to the 53kg gold medal bout in which she overpowered Valverde comprehensively.

It was her power in the upper body that left her rival rattled. The shoulders pulls coupled with her aggressive instinct did not allow the Ecuadorian to launch a counter attack.

Earlier, Vinesh won by technical superiority against Khrystyna Bereza (10-0) and Lannuan Luo (15-5) before getting the better of Qianyu Pang (4-2).

If the win against Ukrainian Bereza was about spectacular double leg attacks, the quarterfinal win over the Luo was much tougher than the what the score-line suggested.

Luo was a strong opponent, who led 5-2 at the end of first period but Vinesh turned it around with smart point-scoring moves from nowhere in the second period.

Twice she threw Luo with moves from between the legs when the Chinese was holding her from the back.

With two wrestlers, having immense upper-body strength, jostling for upper hand from standing position was a sight to watch.

Fighting a measured bout against Pang, Vinesh was in control in the semi-final, With two takedowns in each period she led 4-0 and conceded points only towards the end of the fight.

(With PTI inputs)

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