Sakshi Malik to compete in 65kg non-Olympic category at Asian wrestling championships

Sakshi Malik had failed to clinch a spot in her pet 62kg category after losing to Sonam Malik in the trials held earlier this week.

By Utathya Nag

Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik has booked her spot in the Indian team for the upcoming Asian wrestling championships in Almaty, Uzbekistan.

Sakshi Malik, however, will be competing in the women’s 65kg – a non-Olympic category – instead of her pet 62kg event. The 28-year-old wrestler earned her spot after winning the 65kg event at the selection trials held at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre in Lucknow on Saturday.

At an earlier selection trials on March 22, Sakshi Malik had failed to book her berth in the women’s 62kg category. She was beaten by the up-and-coming Sonam Malik in the final.

The women’s 62kg being an Olympic category, the loss meant Sakshi Malik missed the opportunity to travel for the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Almaty which will precede the Asian championships. She, however, came good in Saturday’s trials to ensure her participation in the Asian meet which starts on April 12.

Sakshi Malik had claimed the 62kg bronze medal at the last Asian championships held in Xi’an, China in 2019.

Besides Sakshi, Pinki (55kg), Sarita Mor (59kg) and Divya Kakran (72kg) also claimed the non-Olympic weight category spots at the Asian championships after winning in the trials held in Lucknow on Saturday.

Indian women’s team for the Asian championships 2021

Seema (50kg), Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Pinki (55kg), Anshu Malik (57kg), Sarita Mor (59kg), Sonam Malik (62kg), Sakshi Malik (65kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg), Divya Kakran (72kg), Pooja Sihag (76kg)