Poland Open: Tokyo Olympics-bound Vinesh Phogat pins rival in 75 seconds to enter finals

While she had to battle against 2019 World bronze winner Ekaterina Poleshchuk in her opening bout before prevailing 6-2, Vinesh needed only 75 seconds to pin her American rival Amy Ann Fearnside.

The 26-year-old Vinesh can now win her third gold in as many tournaments this season, having won titles in Matteo Pellicone (March) and Asian Championship (April). It was a tough start for Vinesh as she was up against fellow 2019 World bronze winner Ekaterina Poleshchuk, whose defence was pretty strong.

Anshu Malik withdraws from Poland Open, being tested for COVID-19

Vinesh went for a left-leg attack but the Russian took the Indian down on counter for a 2-0 lead which she maintained throughout the first period. Moments before the break, Vinesh initiated another move but could not complete it.

Early in the second period, Vinesh had Russian in trouble with a double leg attack as she levelled the score and then got two more points when Ekaterina committed a technical violation and was cautioned. Vinesh completed the win with one more take-down move.

It was a comfortable win in the next round, though, as Vinesh pinned American rival opponent in just 75 seconds. She was leading 6-0 at that time. Earlier in the day, Anshu Malik pulled out of the 57kg competition due to fever.

It has been learnt that when reigning Asian champion Anshu reported for weigh-in for the 57kg category on Friday morning, she had a fever and was suggested that she withdraws from the competition.

“Anshu did not want to miss the competition but as a precautionary measure she has been isolated and has given a sample to confirm if she is infected with coronavirus or not,” a source in the Indian camp told PTI. “It does not look like COVID-19 since she has been in good shape since landing in Warsaw. But such are the times that you can’t risk, so she is being tested,” the source added.

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