Anshu Malik won India's first wrestling medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games as went down fighting to Nigeria's Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye in the 57kg final on Friday. This is reigning champion Adekuoroye's third CWG title on the trot - she had won gold in the 2014 [53kg] and 2018 [57kg] editions.
This is India's first medal in wrestling at the CWG games and twenty-first medal so far.
Adekuoroye, 28, took a 2-0 lead early on with a takedown and wrapped up the first period with another solid takedown to hold on to a 4-0 lead. Anshu found little to no room to score in the second period as Adekuoroye, the two-time defending champion, impressed with her defensive display.
Adekuoroye played the waiting game and scored once again with a little over 20 seconds left to increase her lead to 6-0. The Indian threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Adekuoroye as she scored a takedown and pushed the Nigerian off bounds to clinch four points and make it 6-4.
Anshu felt she had managed a last-gasp takedown with seconds left on the clock and challenged the decision, but to no avail. Had the decision gone in her favour, the scores would have been tied 6-6 and Anshu would have won on account of scoring last. Instead, Anshu sank to her knees in disappointment while Adekuoroye sang a gospel hymn to celebrate the victory.
Earlier, Anshu blazed through her first two bouts in a total play-time of a little over two minutes. She beat Australia's Irene Symeonidis in 64 seconds via technical superiority and followed it up with a similar 64-second victory over Sri Lanka's Nethi Poruthotage in the semifinal.
In 2021, Anshu became India's first-ever wrestler to win a silver at the 2021 World Championships in women's wrestling, losing to Helen Maroulis from the USA.