Poland Open Wrestling 2021 Ranking Series: Can Anshu Malik continue her golden run in Warsaw ahead of Tokyo Olympics

By   - 10/06/2021

Poland Open Wrestling 2021 Ranking Series: The 57kg weight class will become a battle at the Poland Open Wrestling Ranking Series, scheduled from June 8. India has fielded their best hope and Tokyo Olympic-bound wrestler Anshu Malik in the loaded 17-woman bracket. The youngster has been a revelation ever since her first senior international tournament in January 2020. In total, she has won three silver and one bronze and gold each in her six senior competitions. But the last ranking series ahead of the Tokyo Olympics will test her skills. She will face stiff competition from Olympic champion Helen Maroulis (USA), world medalist Iryna Kurachkina (BLR) and Odunayo Adekuoroye (NGR) amongst others. The weight class will feature two Olympic medalists, five world medal winners and seven continental champions.

Here are five wrestlers who will give tough competition to Anshu in 57kg:

Poland Open Wrestling 2021 Ranking Series – Helen Maroulis (Olympic champion, USA)

The USA wrestler made headline in her maiden Summer Games when she defeated three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida (JAP). Since then she had a rollercoaster ride. She became a world champion in 2017 and finished 21st in 2018. Had a career-threatening injury, followed by a battle against depression. But she braved it all like a champion and made a medal-winning return at Pan American Olympic Qualifiers in 2020.

Earlier this year, during her appearance on UWW LIVE, Maroulis shared her mentality and desire to compete against the best, saying, “I don’t just want the medal for the sake of the medal. I want it to be the toughest competition. The point of being the best is you want to know that you beat everyone that you think is incredible.” Next week, the 30-year-old will be the favourite to grab gold.

Poland Open Wrestling 2021 Ranking Series – Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye (NGR/ world medalist)

On paper, Odunayo, Africa’s first-ever women’s wrestling finalist, would be another big threat to Anshu’s campaign in Warsaw. This will be her first tournament since the gold-medal winning campaign at the African Championship in 2020.

Poland Open Wrestling 2021 Ranking Series – Iryna Kurachkina (BLR/ world medalist)

The two-time world bronze medalist is on an eight-tournament podium finishing streak that dates back to May ‘19’s International Ukrainian Tournament. During that stretch, she’s captured gold at the European Championships, European Games, Individual World Cup, and the prestigious Alexander Medved Prizes. She also finished with bronze medalists at the ’19 World Championships, European Championships, and the International Ukrainian Tournament twice.

Poland Open Wrestling 2021 Ranking Series – Valeria Koblova (RUS/ Olympic silver medalist)

Koblova has not had a perfect or even near-perfect run in any international event ever since winning the silver medal at the Rio Games. However, she has been a reckoning force in Russia, winning two Russian championships in the last four years.

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