Anshu Malik’s settled for a silver in the Individual Wrestling World Cup final on Wednesday after she lost the 57kg gold-medal contest 1-5 to Anastasia Nichita of Moldova.
The 19-year-old, who had an excellent run in the Cup, ensured India’s first medal in the tournament in Bulgaria, though she found Anastasia, 21, tactically superior and more powerful, the 59kg winner at this year’s European championships having entered a lower division in the Serbian capital.
Anshu could not untangle herself from a firm hand grip of her opponent, who led 3-0 at the end of the first round before turning a defensive position into offense to add another two points.
India’s other competitor for the day, Ravi Kumar Dahiya, who has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 57kg, lost in the quarterfinals.
Anshu’s father Dharamvir, a former international wrestler, was satisfied with the performance, saying it would give a big boost to the 2017 World Cadet and 2019 Asian junior champion ahead of the Olympic qualifying cycle.
“It was a tough match, but she didn’t give up,” Dharamvir said from Nidani village, in Haryana’s Jind district. “Her overall performance in the competition was good. When she comes back, we will discuss how to go forward in the next meet.”
In February, Anshu had won the Asian championships bronze in New Delhi.
Her performances in the earlier rounds showed the youngster’s determination in the first global event to be held since the lockdown in March disrupted world sporting calendar. The event is a substitute after the world championships could not be held due to the pandemic.
Anshu beat Azerbaijan’s Alyona Kolesnik 4-2 and then Germany’s Laura Mertens 3-1 in the quarterfinals. She had rallied to beat Russia’s Veronika Chumikova 7-4 in the semi-finals on Tuesday.