Vinesh makes shock exit from Tokyo Games

Chiba (Japan), Aug 05 (PTI): Star Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Thursday made a second consecutive heart-breaking quarterfinal exit from the Olympic Games after suffering a massive upset defeat at the hands of Belarus’ Vanesa Kaladzinskaya, here.
Vinesh had no answer to the supreme defence of Vanesa, who got her revenge from the Indian at the biggest stage after suffering a similar embarrassing defeat ‘by fall’ earlier this year in Ukraine.
Later, Vanesa lost her semi-final to China’s Qinyu Pang on criteria after scores were tied 2-2, a result that brought curtains on Vinesh’s campaign at the Tokyo Games. The top-seeded Vinesh, who was a hot favourite for a medal, needed Vanesa to beat the Chinese to rejoin the 53kg competition through the repechage round and push for a bronze. At the 2016 Rio Games, Vinesh had suffered a quarterfinal defeat against China’s Sun Yanan after enduring a leg injury and was stretchered out of the mat.
This is a defeat that will rankle the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh for a long time.
Vanesa, the reigning European champion, executed her strategy perfectly as Vinesh could not find a way to wriggle out of Vanesa’s headlocks.
That crippled and rattled the top seed Vinesh, who is one of the strongest wrestlers in her category.
Even when Vinesh got behind Vanesa, she could not push her down on the knees from a favourable position with the Belarusian showing immense strength to keep her legs straight.
Vinesh used all her might but Vanesa’s defence would not crumble. Even the famous double-leg attack that Vinesh has used to get herself into position to pin her rivals, did not result in points.
Before this bout, Vinesh had knocked out Rio Olympics bronze-winner and six-time world medallist Sofia Mattsson with a commanding 7-1 win.

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