India's ace female wrestler Vinesh Phogat enters the final and ensures herself a silver medal on her return to action after a year at the XXIV Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial, in Kyiv on Saturday.
In the semifinals of 53kg women's wrestling, she defeated Ana A of Romania. The Indian took the early lead with 2-0 and within seconds reached 3-0. Vinesh maintained the lead till the half-way mark of the match. In the second half she made a full point to take 7-0 lead and eventually, pinned her opponent by fall to emerge as the winner.
In the finals, Vinesh will be up against V. Kaladzinskay of Belarus who won in the semi-finals by 10-0
Earlier, in the Round of 16, Vinesh scored a comfortable victory over Katsiaryna Pichkouskaya of Belarus to reach quarters stage of the women's 53kg category.
In the quarters, she took on Iulia Leorda of Moldova whom she beat by 2-0.
The 26-year-old World Championships bronze medallist, who is already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, is taking part in her first competition since the Asian Championships in New Delhi in February last year. The long hiatus was caused due to the coronavirus pandemic that affected competition schedules. Her training was affected by the nationwide lockdown and eventually, she was also tested positive for the virus.
After recovering, Vinesh and her coach Woller Akos travelled to Hungary during the end of 2020. After training the entire month in Hungary, they went to Poland for a couple of weeks. After Kyiv, Vinesh will travel to Rome to play at the Matteo Pelicone Invitational in the first week of March, where she will have the opportunity to earn ranking points which might lead to an easier draw in the Tokyo Olympics 2021.