Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik secure Commonwealth Games berths with brilliant performance at the trials

Image Courtesy: United World Wrestling/Sportstar

Indian grappling icons Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik produced stunning victories at the trials in Lucknow on Monday to secure their entries at the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games, set to take place in Birmingham from 28th July to 8th August.

Vinesh, the two time CWG gold medallist, made a stunning comeback from her disappointing Tokyo Olympics finish and the subsequent right elbow surgery recovery to outperform four wrestlers, including a 3-3 via critical finish against Antim in the final to book her 53 kg entry.

Meanwhile, 2016 Rio Games bronze medallist Sakshi climbed her way through beating Sanju Devi, Kusum and young Olympian Sonam Malik to reach the final against Manisha and defeated her longtime rival 7-3 to secure the 62 kg ticket.

Alongside Vinesh and Sakshi, Anshu Malik and Divya Kakran also clinched their respective CWG berths. Anshu, the 2021 World Championships silver and Asian Championships gold medallist secured thr 57 kg slot while former Asian champion and Commonwealth and Asian Games bronze medallist Divya returned to the mat after marriage to defeat Sonika Hooda, Naina, Radhika and finally Nisha Dahiya 10-0 in the summit clash to make it into the 68 kg category.

“This is a strong squad. We expect medals in every weight. We are capable of winning at least four gold medals,” said Jitender Yadav, chief coach of the women’s contingent.

With Pooja Gehlot (50 kg), Vinesh Phogat (53 kg), Anshu Malik (57 kg), Sakshi Malik (62 kg), Divya Kakran (68 kg) and Pooja (76 kg) comprising the women’s team, their male counterparts will be in action on Tuesday.

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