Wrestling World Championship: Vinesh Phogat thrashes Sofia Mattsson in opening round

Vinesh Phogat.

Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan), September 17:  India’s biggest medal hope Vinesh Phogat started her World Championship campaign with a commanding 13-0 win in qualifying round over Olympic bronze medallist Sofia Mattsson in 53 kg on Tuesday.

Vinesh was dominant in the play since the very start as the Indian did not allow any opportunity to her Swedish opponenet who is also a six-time World Championship medal winner. Vinesh took an early 4-0 lead over Mattsson with her attacks around the waist.

The The Asian Games gold medallist then took a massive 13-0 lead over Mattsson in the dying second of the bout when she pushed Mattsson out of the mat. Mattsson challenged referee’s decision but eventually lost it as Vinesh had her foot inside the line.

The Indian will next face 55 kg world champion Muya Mukaida of Japan in the quarter-finals who defeated Yuliaa Khavaldzhy Blahinya of Ukraine 6-1.

The 25-year-old switched to 53kg from 50kg and despite some initial struggles, she has found her groove, as evidenced by her three gold medals at the Yasar Dagu, Poland Open and Spain Open.

A bronze at the Asian Championships along with a couple of silver medals at the Dan Kolov and Medved International tournaments gave enough testimony to the fact that the star wrestler was beginning to find her comfort level even in her new weight category.