Anthony, Moore Star for USA with Gold at Matteo Pellicone
Saturday, March 6, 2021 - 22:59 By Vinay Siwach
OSTIA, Italy (March 7) --- Victory ANTHONY (USA) had been to five Ranking Series before arriving in Rome for the Matteo Pellicone event. For all her efforts, she had won two bronze medals scattered over 2019 and 2020.
Despite being one of the top wrestlers at 50kg, Anthony somehow had failed to finish at the top of the podium at major international events. But Saturday was different.
Wrestling at her second Matteo Pellicone event, the USA wrestler showcased why she is still a force to reckon by winning the gold medal after defeating European champion Miglena Georgieva SELISHKA (BUL) 15-10 in the final on Saturday.
This was USA's second gold medal in women's wrestling as Taymara Mensah-Stock won the gold at 68kg on Friday.
"It was the biggest win for me in recent history which is like five years," Anthony said. "This is the first tournament where I have wrestled to my potential, peak ability. I am really happy with that."
Anthony's performance in Rome was perhaps one of the best in the tournament. She wrestled hard for six minutes with precise attacks and clean finishes. Even while she was trailing, she did not lose her cool.
Like all champions, she stepped her game when it was most needed. Two-time World Championships and returning silver medalist Emilia Alina VUC (ROU) was the favorite to win the category buy Anthony even destroyed her with a 10-0 win in the semifinals.
Running high on that confidence, she won a thrilling final. She led Selishka 9-3 at the break after a series of takedowns. But the experienced Bulgarian scripted a turnaround in the second period. She first had a single leg takedown which brought down the difference to 7-9 before an exposure gave her the lead 9-9 on criteria. With the clock ticking and limited options available, Anthony used her trademark trip to get four points and win the gold medal 13-10.
"At the beginning I was like I was going to tech her in the first few minutes," she said. "It's like you can come out on top of this roller-coaster instead of, this has happened in the past, I end up losing that match. I felt that edge in this final and I just reset myself. It's like a clap and every time. It's like a neutral energy and I'm not worried."
The 29-year-old was not the only American to stun a favorite. U23 World silver medalist Kollin MOORE (USA) handed senior world silver medalist at 92kg Alireza Mohammad KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI) a 3-3 criteria win in the 97kg final.
Both wrestlers exchanged a point each for step out before the Iranian scored a takedown to lead 3-1. His continued pressure on Moore was about to pay off with a step out but the American survived the push and countered with a double leg to score a takedown. That give him the lead on criteria and the gold in Rome.
The only defending champion to have a smooth sailing was Vinesh PHOGAT (IND) as she claimed her second consecutive gold medal in Rome with a 4-0 win over former world bronze medalist Diana WEICKER (CAN). Phogat won her two bouts via fall and did not concede a single point en route the summit clash.
In the final, Phogat scored the first takedown with a snap after she was warned for passivity. She later completed a double-leg takedown to make it 4-0. She defended her lead despite Weicker getting a hold of her leg a couple of times in the bout.
"I am not satisfied with this performance at all. I won but I want to attack more," Phogat said. "I want my score to be more than 4-0. While my mind knows that but my body is not allowing me to do it."
Phogat's wins in the morning session saw her pin fellow Indian Nandini SALOKHE (IND) before winning the same way against Samantha STEWART (CAN) in the semifinal. The gold medal on Saturday was Phogat's third consecutive Ranking Series gold medal and fourth medal overall at the event.
At 55kg, Jacqueline Del Rocio MOLLOCANA ELENO (ECU) won the gold medal while Aisha UALISHAN (KAZ) came home with a silver. Abigail Elizabeth NETTE added the third gold medal for USA in Rome as she beat Diana KAYUMOVA (KAZ) in the Nordic system at 59kg.
Elsewhere, in men's 125kg Amarveer DHESI (CAN) continued his rise by winning his second-ever gold medal at the Ranking Series event. In Nordic style competition, Dhesi first defeated SUMIT (IND) 14-4 before handing Pan Am champion Anthony Robert NELSON (USA) a 5-0 blanking. In Round 4, he pinned Oleg BOLTIN (KAZ).
But Round 5 was anti-climatic as he suffered a 11-0 defeat at the hands of Asian champion Yusup BATIRMURZAEV (KAZ). He still finished with the top medal due to his earlier results. Nelson finished with the bronze medal.
Final #WrestleRome WW team scores
GOLD: Kazakhstan (129 points)
SILVER: Canada (89 points)
BRONZE: Italy (88 points)
Fourth: USA (75 points)
Fifth: India (69 points)
GOLD: Victoria ANTHONY (USA) df. Miglena Georgieva SELISHKA (BUL) 15-10
BRONZE: Elina Amilia VUC (ROU) df Valentina Ivanovna ISLAMOVA BRIK (KAZ) via inj. def.
GOLD: Vinesh PHOGAT (IND) df. Diana WEICKER (CAN) 4-0
BRONZE: Samantha Leigh STEWART (CAN) df. Nandini Bajirao SALOKHE (IND) via fall
GOLD: Jacqueline Del Rocio MOLLOCANA ELENO (ECU) df. Aisha UALISHAN (KAZ)
BRONZE: Ambra CAMPAGNA (ITA)
GOLD: Abigail Elizabeth NETTE (USA) df. Diana KAYUMOVA (KAZ)
BRONZE: Rebbeca DE LEO (ITA)
GOLD: Gaukhar MUKATAY (KAZ) df Veronica BRASCHI (ITA) 8-0
GOLD: Kollin Raymond MOORE (USA) df. Alireza Mohammad KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI) 3-3
BRONZE: Alisher YERGALI (KAZ) df. Feyzullah AKTURK (TUR) 6-1
BRONZE: Hayden Nicholas ZILLMER df. Ibrahim CIFTCI (TUR) 7-4
GOLD: Amarveer DHESI (CAN)
SILVER: Yusup BATIRMURZAEV (KAZ)
BRONZE: Anthony Robert NELSON (USA)