Star Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Sunday pinned 2017 world champion Vanesa Kaladzinskay to grab a gold medal at the Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial tournament here, and returned to the mat in style after a long coronavirus-forced break.
Up against the world No. 7 Belarusian, it was not an easy bout for the world No. 3 Indian as the two grapplers kept testing each other with consistent attacks in the sea-saw battle in which Vinesh prevailed.
Vinesh opened up a 4-0 lead in the 53kg final 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 take down, 10 seconds before the break.
“It is a winning return for #TOPSAthlete @Phogat_Vinesh as she wins the gold medal in the women’s 53 kg at the #OutstandingUkrainianWrestlersAndCoachesMemorial event after beating World #7 and 2017 World Champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya 10-8 in the final,” SAI Media tweeted.
The Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medalist had defeated Romania’s Ana A by fall in the semi-final on Saturday to reach the summit clash. Vinesh has already booked a place in the Tokyo Olympics for the 53kg category. Now, the 26-year-old will be seen in action in the season’s first ranking tournament from March 4-7 in Rome.