Tokyo: India’s Vinesh Phogat started her campaign in the Tokyo Olympics women’s 53kg wrestling with a comfortable win against Sweden’s Sofia Mattsson in a Round of 16 bout on Thursday.
Vinesh, who had to withdraw from the Rio Olympics five years ago with a serious injury, overcame Sofia Mattsson, bronze medallist in the Rio Olympics,7-1 on points to make it to the quarterfinals.
Vinesh, the reigning Asian champion, next faces Belarus’ Vanesa Kaladzinskaya, who beat Romania’s Andreea Ana in her opening bout, in the quarterfinals.
The 26-year-old Vinesh will go into that bout with a lot of confidence as she beat Mattsson 13-0 in their only previous meeting at the 2019 world championships.
On Thursday, Vinesh looked confident as she started her opening bout of the Tokyo Olympics with a strong performance at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba.
Though the Swede seemed to be on the offensive early on, Vinesh instantly turned the tables and went 4-0 up with a strong counterattack.
The Indian continued with this strategy, allowing her opponent to initiate the attack and then countering her with an attack of her own and comfortably wrapped up the match.
Vinesh is India’s main hope in the women’s freestyle section and the way she started her campaign, she will be very confident going into her next bout, victory in which will put her in medal contention.