Guwahati: India will have to wait for its first woman world champion in wrestling as teenager Anshu Malik settled for a silver medal after losing her 57kg final to 2016 Olympic champion Helen Lousie Marouli in Oslo, Norway on Thursday.
Coming into the match after becoming India’s first-ever woman finalist at the World Championship, the 19-year old began in an aggressive fashion with positive intent. She led 1-0 at the breather but the bout changed in dramatic fashion in the second. Maroulis got Anshu in her arm grip and pulled her down to complete a take-down move to take a 2-1 lead.
She kept Anshu’s right arm under a tight grip and kept twisting to get an ‘exposure’ point, making it 4-1.
Anshu, the reigning Asian Champion, was in terrible pain but the American did not loosen her grip and had Anshu’s back on the mat to win by fall.
Anshu needed medical help immediately after the bout as she was almost in tears.
Nevertheless, it was a heroic performance from the Nidani wrestler, who became the only fifth Indian woman to win a worlds medal and so far the best one.
Geeta Phogat (2012), Babita Phogat (2012), Pooja Dhanda (2018) and Vinesh Phogat (2019) have won a bronze each.
Meanwhile Divya Kakran (72kg) lost her repechage round in the morning session to Mongolia’s Davaanasan Enkh Amar and expectedly, the Greco Roman wrestlers put up a disappointing show.
Sandeep (55kg), Vikas (72kg), Sajan (77kg) and Harpreet Singh (82kg)bowed out of the competition.
Only Sajan managed to win one bout while the other three lots their respective openers.