India’s star wrestler Vinesh Phogat has hit form in her very first competitive outing since the enforced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic as she has reached the final of the womens’ 53kg event at XXIV Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial in Kiev.
The Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medalist was in top gear on Saturday as she defeated Romania’s Ana A by fall in the semi-final. Vinesh took a 2-0 lead early and never allowed her opponent a chance to come back into the match.
In the final, Vinesh Phogat will be up against former world champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus on Sunday. Vinesh sealed comfortable victories against Katsiaryna Pichkouskaya and Iulia Leorda in the quarter-finals and Round of 16, respectively.
#TOPSAthlete @Phogat_Vinesh reaches the women’s 53 Kg final on her return to international competition at the #OutstandingUkrainianWrestlersAndCoachesMemorial event. She will play World #7 and 2017 World Champion #VanesaKaladzinskaya in the final tomorrow. #wrestling .com/df2uIlsfWC
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) February 27, 2021
Vinesh Phogat has already sealed a berth in the 53kg category at Tokyo Olympics. The Indian wrestler has been training in Europe since November 2020 as she prepares to hit peak form in the lead up to the Games, which were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the lockdown, Vinesh Phogat was training in Haryana while her coach Woller Akos of Hungary oversaw her routines virtually. However, Vinesh reunited with her coach in Budapest. Since the start of the New Year, Vinesh had been training with top wrestlers from across the world in Poland.
After Sunday’s final, Vinesh will head to Rome for the season’s first ranking tournament from March 4 to 7. While training for the Games has been the priority, coach Akios is keen on helping his ward gain more match practice. At the moment, the results are not going to be a concern for the star Indian wrestler.