Anshu Malik impresses at Matteo Pellicone Memorial but falls at the final hurdle

Making her senior debut, she surprised many with her fine wins in the early rounds but failed to get past the experienced Odunayo Adekuoroye in the final.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Getty Images

Eighteen year old Anshu Malik showed her promise by making it all the way to the final on her senior level debut at the Matteo Pellicone Memorial meet in Rome.

Malik recorded fine wins over Spain's Maria Victoria Baez Dlione as well as Canada's Linda Morais and Grace Jacob Bullen of Norway.

However, competing in the women’s 57kg category, Anshu Malik was no match for Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye in the final, who raced her way to a fine 10-0 win by technical superiority to clinch the top prize in under 90 seconds.

In the 82kg Greco-Roman final, Gurpreet Singh was dealt a similar fate as he bowed out to Burhan Akbudak of Turkey following a close 1-2 loss in the final. 

Anshu Malik’s impressive run

Though in the final, Anshu Malik was outsmarted by her opponent, those 90 seconds barely gave a glimpse of how dominant she was throughout the meet. 

Up against Maria Victoria Baez Dilone of Spain in the opening round of the ranking meet, the Indian grappler barely took any time to make her intentions clear as she went on to wrap up the bout with a 10-0 result in her favour. 

Up against the reigning world champion in the 59kg category, Linda Morais of Canada, in the second round, Anshu Malik looked in no trouble as she dished out a clinical performance to beat the Canadian 10-4 to make her way into the semi-finals. 

Though she was pushed by Norway’s Grace Bullen in their quarters tie, the Indian ensured that she had done enough to warrant a win. Meanwhile, the semis was a no-contest as Anshu Malik ruled the mat to outclass her American opponent Jenna Burkert with a 10-0 scoreline in her favour.

Hard loss for Divya Kakran

Later in the evening session, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist Divya Kakran too endured a difficult time, losing her bronze medal tie to the 2018 World Championships sliver medallist Danielle Lappage of Canada in the 68kg event.

Up against a seasoned wrestler, Divya Kakran struggled to find her footing as Lappage lapped on every possible opportunity to punish the Indian with easy takedowns.

The 22-year-old Divya Kakran was also guilty of exposing her leg far too much as the Canadian made the most of the opportunities to score valuable points to win the tie 12-2.


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