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Tokyo Olympics: Vinesh Phogat knocked out in quarterfinal, Anshu Malik loses in repechage

Indian wrestling was off to a disappointing start at Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, with top seed Vinesh Phogat getting knocked out in the quarterfinal. In contrast, Anshu Malik couldn't get the job done in the repechage.

Tokyo Olympics: Vinesh Phogat knocked out in quarterfinal, Anshu Malik loses in repechage-ayh
Tokyo, First Published Aug 5, 2021, 10:51 AM IST

It was disappointing for the Indian wrestling community at Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, as top seed Vinesh Phogat was knocked out in the quarterfinal against Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus in the 53kg fight. The latter was superior in defence, as she bagged her payback against the former at the grandest stage following an embarrassing defeat in Ukraine earlier this year.

Vanesa happens to be the reigning European champion, as she applied strategically perfect headlocks on Vinesh, who struggled to break out of it. While it rattled the Indian, she tried to push the Belarusian down but failed even from a favourable position, as the latter displayed immense strength to stay on her feet.

Vinesh does not seem to be getting anything right, as Vanesa overpowered it all, including the former's famous double-leg attack. Also, if the Belarusian fails to qualify for the final, the Indian would not make it to the repechage.

Earlier on Thursday, Vinesh had won her pre-quarters fight against Sofia Mattsson of Sweden 7-1. She already held a win over the Swedish during the 2019 World Championships.

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Sofia ideally went for a right-legged attack, but Vinesh was comfortable countering it every time. The Indian also displayed some brute strength by turning the Swedish at the edge of the mat, in a difficult position, while she could have also conceded a point. Although Vinesh was on the verge of even pinning Sofia, the latter escaped it somehow.

Tokyo Olympics: Vinesh Phogat knocked out in quarterfinal, Anshu Malik loses in repechage-ayh

In the meantime, Anshu Malik too disappointed the Indians, getting knocked out in the 57kg repechage to Valeria Koblova of Russia 1-5. Although the Indian dominated initially, the Russian bounced back with a two-pointer to move ahead.

Ansu had already lost her opening pre-quarters fight to reigning European champion Irina Kurachikina 2-8 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, in the men's section, Ravi Dahiya (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) would be competing for the gold and bronze medal, respectively.

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