Olympics: Wrestler Vinesh Phogat loses in quarter-finals
Tokyo, August 5, 2021
Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat lost the quarter-final bout of the women's freestyle 53kg category to Vanesa Kaladzinskay of Belarus by fall at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Thursday.
The loss brings an end to Vinesh's hopes of clinching gold in Tokyo, though she can still win bronze through the repechage route.
The 28-year-old Vanesa was the first one to go on the offensive. She started off with a two-pointer and took a 5-2 lead at the end of the first period.
In the second period, Vinesh got a leg hold and tried to get the back of her opponent. But Vanesa made a strong defence and scored two points on the counter. A successful review from Vinesh saw the score reverted from 7-2 to 5-3.
Vanesa got around Vinesh again, taking two points. In her last move, Vanesa got Vinesh on the mat and pinned her shoulders down to win the match by fall. It brought the match to an end where Vinesh had no answer to Vanesa's attacks and relentless pressure.
The 26-year-old Vinesh will now hope for Vanesa to reach the final so that she gets a chance at winning the bronze medal through repechage.
Earlier, Vinesh had started her campaign with a comfortable win against Sweden's Sofia Mattsson in the pre-quarter-finals.
She overcame Sofia, a bronze medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, 7-1 on points to make it to the quarter-finals.
Vinesh looked confident as she started her opening bout with a strong performance. Though the Swede seemed to be on the offensive early on, Vinesh instantly turned the tables and went 4-0 up with a strong counterattack.
The Indian continued with this strategy, allowing her opponent to initiate the attack and then countering her with an attack of her own and comfortably wrapped up the match.