Silver solace for Anshu Malik at Individual World Cup

The Indian teenager settled for a silver medal after losing to European champion Anastasia Nichita in the 57kg final of women’s wrestling at the Individual World Cup.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Getty Images

India’s Anshu Malik won a silver medal in the 57kg category of women’s wrestling at the Individual World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia. On Wednesday.

The 19-year-old Indian wrestler lost to Moldova’s Anastasia Nichita 5-1 in the final in what was a smartly fought bout.

Facing the reigning European champion in the gold medal fight, the Indian grappler knew she had to be on top of her game to have any chance of walking away with the top honours in what was her just third international event at the senior level.

But though the 19-year-old Anshu began on an aggressive note, managing a partial takedown in the opening minute, the Moldovan was quick to adapt and shut the doors with her compact defence.

Anastasia Nichita had the Indian held in a headlock for long while using her lower body to gain the upper hand. Anshu Malik, meanwhile, did well to stay on her feet, aware of the mat boundaries and tested her opponent with her brute power.

But neither wrestlers seemed to yield as the referee called for the break with a passivity point giving the Moldovan a slender lead.

In the second round, Anastasia Nichita switched her game and wasted no time by pulling two fine takedowns -- first by dragging Anshu Malik in from a headlock and later getting around her opponent to expose the Indian on to the mat to surge ahead.

Despite Anshu Malik’s best efforts, there was no getting back from that as Anastasia Nichita wrapped up her year with another title to her name.

Freestyle wrestlers fall short

Earlier, the lack of quality training was evident in the way the Indian freestyle wrestlers went about their business as none of the four grapplers in action could make it past the qualification stages at the Individual World Cup.

Though Olympic quota winner Ravi Kumar started his quarter-final in the 57kg category on a positive note, he couldn’t hold on to his run as Hungary’s Gamzatgadzsi Halidov rallied in fine fashion to register a 6-4 win.

Narsingh Yadav was largely banking on his instincts rather than a predetermined game plan as he lost his opening-round bout in the 74kg category by a point. German Osman Cakici registered a 10-9 win to oust the Indian wrestler from the competition.

Also bowing out in the qualification rounds were Sumit Malik (125kg) who lost Egor Olar of Moldova 4-2 while Kyrgyzstan’s Islambek Orozbekov beat Naveen 12-2 in the 70kg division.