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Wrestling Nationals: Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik win titles on comeback

Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik headlined the Senior Wrestling Nationals in women's freestyle with 55 kg and 59 kg titles.

Wrestling Nationals: Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik win titles on comeback

Anshu Malik (left) and Vinesh Phogat (right) won 59 kg and 55 kg titles at the Senior Wrestling Nationals. (PritishRaj/TheBridge)


Pritish Raj

Updated: 4 Feb 2024 6:54 PM GMT

Jaipur: The third day of the ongoing Senior Wrestling National Championships served as the comeback tournament for two Olympians - Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik.

Vinesh emerged as the champion in the 55kg category defeating Jyoti in the final, while Anshu overcame a tough fight from Sarita Mor in the 59kg category on Sunday at Railway Stadium, Jaipur.

Coming back to the mat after a break of 16 months owing to knee surgery and the protest against former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Vinesh defeated youngster Jyoti by fall in the final after a couple of easy bouts on her way to the final.

This was Vinesh’s first competitive tournament after the World Wrestling Championships in September 2022.

Playing in a non-Olympic weight class, Vinesh started the tournament dominantly defeating Asha of Puducherry 10-0 in the pre-quarterfinal.

In the quarters, Vinesh struggled against Tamannaof Haryana in the first round as both wrestlers were strong defensively. Vinesh managed to eke out a couple of points before holding on to the match to win 3-0.

However, Vinesh found her groove in the semifinals and finals pinning her opponents Mamta Rana and Jyoti respectively.

“I was a little afraid after coming back from a big surgery but after this win, I think that I am right track,” Vinesh told the media after her win.

Anshu Malik defeats Sarita Mor

The 59kg category final turned out to be tough as returning Olympian Anshu Mor and world championships medallist Sarita Mor reached the finals of the category

Coming back from a ligament tear in the knee, Anshu Malik got better of Sarita Mor 8-3 to claim the title.

Both wrestlers started with a lot of clutching and grappling, resulting in Sarita getting a warning and Anshu getting a point in return.

The first half ended with Anshu leading 2-1. Sarita came out aggressive in the second half trying to overpower Anshu but Anshu counter-attacked her superbly and took her down to gain six points.

Sarita tried to come back in the bout with a two-point move but Anshu held her defensive shape to win the title with a score of 8-3.

With this win, Anshu avenged her Asian Games trials loss against Sarita.

Reetika and Nisha Dahiya dominate the Olympic categories

U23 World Champion Reetika Hooda was in a league of her own and decimated all her opponents on her way to winning another title.

Reetika defeated Sunena of Haryana in the final to win the title in the 76kg category.

U23 Worlds medallist Nisha Dahigya overcame a tough challenge from Radhika in the 68kg category final to win the title with a score of 13-8.

Veteran wrestler Nirmala won the 50kg title while Ankush Panghal clinched the 53kg title and Anju won the 57kg title. In the 62 kg category, Mansi Ahlawat won the title defeating Sonika of Himachal Pradesh.


50 kg: Nirmala, 53 kg: Ankush Panghal, 55 kg: Vinesh Phogat, 57 kg: Anju, 59 kg: Anshu Malik, 62 kg: Mansi Ahlawat, 65 kg: Sonali, 68 kg: Nisha Dahiya, 72 kg: Jyoti, 76 kg: Reetika.

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