Struggling Sakshi Malik is desperately seeking another round of trials to remain in contention for a Tokyo Olympics berth as she gears up for the upcoming Asian Wrestling Championships in non-Olympic category. The Rio Olympic bronze medallist was humbled by two-time Cadet World Champion Sonam Malik during the trials in the 62kg category. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has already made it clear that it may hold fresh trials if the performance of the winners are not satisfactory at the tournament in Italy and the Asian Championship.
Sonam had lost the first round of the ranking series event in Rome but if she manages to finish on the podium during the Asian Championship, beginning February 18 in New Delhi, the WFI perhaps won’t stop her from competing at the Asian Olympic qualifier in March. “I am hopeful for another round of trials. If I qualify in that I will have two more chances, the Asian World Olympics qualifiers and the World Olympics qualifiers. I want to qualify in the two key tournaments,” Sakshi said.
“Preparations for the AWC has been good. I will give my best, be it any competition, and win medals. I am working hard on my technique. I need to make sure that I don’t repeat the same mistakes that I have made in the previous tournaments,” she added. During the trials, the 18 year-old Sonam was trailing 6-10 but levelled the scores with a four-point throw to shock Sakshi.
Sakshi then got the chance to compete at the Asian Championships in non-Olympic 65kg category. “I am watching opponents in the same weight category and trying to improvise with my strategies and techniques. In wrestling, weaknesses are aplenty, be it in technique, defence or attack. Most importantly our mind should be working for each and every second in a match,” she said.
“Not being alert for even a second can result in your defence being exposed or you might get attacked in the last few seconds,” Sakshi concluded.