See which Olympic medalist 18-year-old Sonam Malik beat to progress to Tokyo 2020 qualifiers!


Youngster Sonam Mailk has now beaten Sakshi Malik twice in two months as the promising wrestler once again pinned down the Olympic bronze medallist in Lucknow on Wednesday. With this victory Sonam has now made the cut for the Indian team’s Olympic Qualifiers next month. Last week, the WFI had asked Sonam to participate in the trials once again after her average performance at the Rome Ranking series and the Asian Championships and the 18-year-old gave a befitting reply; brushing aside Sakshi in the final, by fall, even when she was trailing with a minute left in the second period.

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Recovering from a complicated right-arm injury that let her doctor suggest a different line of work for her, Sonam Malik is now dreaming to take the stage at this year’s summer Olympics.

Being challenged to re-appear in the in the 62kg category, she tore apart the established seniors – getting past Radhika easily and then Sarita Mor, the Asian Championship gold medallist whom she beat 3-1 in the semis.

Ajmer Malik, Sonam’s coach at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Sports Institute in Sonepat, was delighted about his students’ achievement.

“Beating Sakshi by fall is a big achievement for this youngster. Sonam tired her out. And this was despite an elbow injury she had suffered during the Rome event and had not recovered completely. She even had not trained well,” Ajmer said.

“The girls who were in the upper weight categories would have thought they will be able to dominate Sonam because she is young and inexperienced. I had told her that coming out winner in a competitive group like this would be huge and she has made us proud” he added.

Last month Sonam found herself in the limelight after she defeated Sakshi in the trials, where the Wrestling Federation of India were selecting athletes for the Rome Ranking Series event and the Asian Championships. Even though, Sonam returned empty-handed from both the tournaments, her consistent performance impressed the selection committee as she joins the national squad from today.

However, the WFI had previously declared it would conduct trials again in the 62kg and 76kg for women and 60kg for Greco Roman style, should the performance of the wrestlers were not ‘up-to-the-mark’.

Meanwhile, the Asian Olympic Qualifiers is scheduled to be hosted in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from March 27-29.


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