In the Asian Wrestling Championship held at Almaty, it was a gold rush for India as Vinesh Phogat, Divya Kakran and Anshu Malik brought gold home for their country. Vinesh Phogat looked to be at the top of her game, winning her maiden gold at the Asian Wrestling Championship in the Women’s 53 kg category.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Anshu Malik, who was recently confirmed for Olympics, won her first-ever Asian Championship gold medal as well. The teen sensation won the gold in the 57 kg category.
Divya Kakran, who recovered from COVID-19 in December, cliched a gold for her country in the 72-kg category. Here’s all that happened in the Indian gold rush at the Asian Wrestling Championship.
Vinesh Phogat is denied strong resistance, makes best of depleted mat
Medal number 8 from the Asian Championships in the bag🥇 Preparations heading in the right direction. Great to be competing on the Asian stage again ☺️ Now time to refocus and kick-off another intense phase of training! 💪 pic.twitter.com/1jPApNY3XE
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) April 16, 2021
World Champion Vinesh Phogat made the Phogat lineage proud again as she went on to clinch her first Asian Championship gold. Although her critics may state the fact that Phogat made the best of a depleted mat as the championship lacked faces like Mayu Mukaida from Japan and Pang Qianyu from China.
It should be noted that Mukaida had already beaten Phogat at the World Wrestling Championship tournament and at the last year’s Asian Wrestling Championship as well. Meanwhile Qianyu herself was a strong contender as she had won a bronze medal last year at the World Championship.
Due to the fact that both Mukaida and Qianyu were missing, Phogat was denied a strong resistance and remained the only strong contender at the wrestling mat.
Although Phogat herself in the past had gone on record to say that she was looking forward to fight against Mukaida and Qianyu.
The gold in the end was in the words of the champion wrestler an easy offering. She didn’t concede a single point and won the gold. Prior to this she had won 3 silver medals and 4 bronze medals in the Asian Wrestling Championship.
With less than 100 days remaining for the Summer Olympics scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Phogat could’ve done with some serious preparation against strong contenders.
But due to the fact that Japan had already pulled out of the championship due to the pandemic, she won the gold in a talent depleted field.
Phogat wins against Gangbaatar (11-0) & Hsieh (12-0)
Her first two bouts saw her winning by technical superiority against Gangbaatar and Hsuan Hsieh. While Ganbaatar lost by a margin of 11-0, Hsieh lost by 12-0. In the final, the Phogat family’s newest shining talent received some resistance by Hsieh but Vinesh showed composure and pulled her opponent down for a pin.
19-year-old Anshu Malik wins first ever Gold at Asian Championship
Another gold for India as #TOPSAthlete #Anshu wins the women’s 57 kg event at the Asian Wrestling Championships after beating Baatsetseg Altantsetseg of Mongolia. She had won a #Tokyo2020 quota last week. pic.twitter.com/ojEb9GLcKW
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) April 16, 2021
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Anshu Malik, who sealed her Olympic seat just a few days back, also won her first ever Asian Championship gold medal. The teenage sensation was unstoppable as she went on to defeat Uzbekistan’s Eshmuratova 11-0 and Kyrgyzstan’s Marsbek 10-0.
In the semi-final she just conceded one point and defeated Mongolia’s Battseteg 9-1. The final had Battseteg and Malik bouting it out, both looking dangerous and equally strong. However, Malik showed great resistance and won the bout 3-0.
Divya Kakran continues India’s Gold Rush, clinches gold in 72-kg category
.@DivyaWrestler wins 🥇 in women’s 72 kg at the Asian Wrestling Championships for her 2nd gold after winning the 68 kg event last year. @sakshimalik wins 🥈 in women’s 65 kg.
Many congratulations!!! pic.twitter.com/TvO8QThoxz
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) April 16, 2021
In the 72 kg category, Divya Kakran also continued India’s gold rush and clinched a gold in the final. Earlier she had lost her seat for the 2021 Olympics in the 68 kg category. But the 22-year-old wrestler showed no sign of rustiness and brought the 4th gold for India.
Kakran, who recovered from COVID-19 in December, won first 2 bouts against Enkhbayar from Mongolia and Sujin from Korea. In her next round, she faced excruciating resistance from Kazakhstan’s Bakbergenova. However, the Indian won points at crucial junctures and won the bout 8-5. After her maiden gold last year, she clinched her second gold at the Asian championship.
By the end of the 2021 edition of Asian Championship, Indian women wrestlers made the country proud, winning 4 gold medals, 1 silver medal, and 2 bronze medals.