Wrestling World Championships: Japanese withdrawal, beneficial bracket give Vinesh Phogat robust likelihood of podium end

Published:Mar 9, 202410:03

As the ladies’s freestyle competitors will get underway on the 2022 Wrestling World Championships, India’s squad appears barely depleted. Not solely is Anshu Malik, the 2021 silver medallist, lacking out because of harm, however 4 of the six members of the Commonwealth Video games workforce are additionally skipping the competitors. As issues stand, India will look to Vinesh Phogat and Sarita Mor to offer the nation one thing to cheer about.

Vinesh has had a troublesome previous 13 months after a disastrous Olympic marketing campaign and accidents, which have required surgical procedure. Nevertheless, a beneficial draw and an open area on the 2022 Worlds suggests the previous world bronze medallist may need a event to recollect in Belgrade.

With gold medal favorite and defending champion Akari Fujinami pulling out of the championships because of a freak harm suffered simply days earlier than the beginning of the competitors, the ladies’s 53kg division that begins on Tuesday has all of the sudden been thrown huge open. Within the Japanese’s absence, Vinesh has a good likelihood of going all the way in which.

Vinesh, seeded tenth, has to beat Asian silver medallist Khulan Batkhuyag of Mongolia within the first spherical. If she does, she is going to tackle Kazakhstan’s Zhuldyz Eshimova, who received a bronze on the 2022 Asian Championships. Vinesh will again herself to beat the 2 of them. That end result will probably set her as much as face 2021 World silver medallist Iulia Leorda of Romania.

Whereas Leorda had a formidable event final time round, Vinesh has overwhelmed her the one time the 2 competed towards one another – on the XXIV Excellent Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches event in 2021. A win right here would put Vinesh within the semifinal.

Ought to seedings maintain true, Vinesh will probably face 2022 European Champion Joana Malmgren of Sweden for a spot within the last. Whereas Malmgren, 21, is an upcoming wrestler, she has solely been competing within the 53kg weight division for a 12 months. A match towards her for a spot within the last of the World Championships is a prospect Vinesh would fortunately take.

On the opposite facet of the draw, the victor is prone to be both Canada’s Samantha Stewart, who received a bronze on the 2021 Worlds or USA’s Dominique Parrish, gold medallist on the 2022 Pan American Video games. Vinesh will probably be assured of taking up both. She had pinned Stewart inside the primary minute of their conflict on the Commonwealth Video games. Parrish, in the meantime was overwhelmed by junior Indian wrestler Antim within the Tunisia Rating Series. Antim, in flip, was overwhelmed 7-0 by Vinesh within the choice trials for the World Championships.

Whereas the Indian couldn't have gotten a extra beneficial draw, how Vinesh does on the Worlds will depend upon how she manages her weight lower for the occasion. Vinesh has mentioned previously that she’s by no means felt the identical approach for any two tournaments. She may be in nice form for one competitors whereas a nasty weight lower might lead to blurry imaginative and prescient and weak spot in one other competitors.

Vinesh although has made it clear she’s targeted on doing nicely in Belgrade – it was one of many causes she didn’t take a break after CWG like each one among her compatriots did. “Initially of the season, the key event was the World Championships. I received the CWG, however I didn’t have to get into the form I used to be in for that event. This preparation is for the World Championships. I've wrestled for over 10 years, however I’ve solely acquired one medal on the Worlds (bronze in 2019). I feel I've one other three-four years in my profession. By the point I retire, I ought to have some extra medals,” she had instructed Sportstar a few weeks again..

Sarita Mor – bronze prospect

The ladies’s 57kg spot in Indian roster has at all times been a tightly contested one.

Sarita Mor

Sarita Mor | Photograph Credit score: The Hindu

Prior to now, Sarita has at all times been a contender for the Indian spot within the ladies’s 57kg class however has previously misplaced out on a spot to Anshu, who received silver on the 2021 Worlds and Pooja Dhanda, who received bronze on the 2017 Worlds.

Sarita has had her share of success on the World Championships, profitable a bronze in 2021. However that medal got here within the 59kg class.

At Belgrade, Sarita will probably be competing for less than the second time within the 57kg class. Whereas her path to the ultimate will probably be exceedingly onerous – she is in the identical bracket as reigning world champion Helen Maroulis – it additionally opens up the opportunity of competing for a bronze medal by repechage.

For that to occur, Sarita must get previous Canada’s Hannah Taylor, bronze medallist on the 2022 Commonwealth Video games and Poland’s Anhelina Lysak, a gold medallist within the 59kg class on the 2021 U-23 World Championships.

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