Sonam injured while training with Sakshi Malik, pulls out of Matteo Pellicone wrestling

Sonam Malik suffered a head injury while Tokyo-bound Deepak Punia and Ravi Dahiya will not travel to Rome due to injury and sickness, respectively.

By Ubaid Parkar

Young and upcoming Indian wrestler Sonam Malik has pulled out of the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event in Rome due to a head injury she suffered while sparring with rival and Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik.

Deepak Punia (86kg) and Ravi Dahiya (57kg), both have made the Tokyo Olympics, will also give the tournament a miss along with Jitender Kinha (74kg).

Sonam was injured at the national camp in Lucknow last week. Sonam had sealed her Matteo Pellicone ticket after she beat Sakshi Malik for the senior national wrestling title late in January. Both compete in the 62kg category.

The freak injury was only noticed after blood started dripping from Sonam’s head.

“It was not the fault of anyone,” Sonam's personal coach Ajmer Malik told PTI. “It happens in wrestling. It was not deliberate. You don't want to concede any point and give your all. In that moment, injury could happen."

As a result, Sonam received five stitches on her head. A local doctor on Monday confirmed that the injury had not healed and that the stitches will remain.

The Indian wrestling team left for Rome on Wednesday.

Ravi Dahiya also stayed back due to a knee injury he suffered during the national camp in Sonepat two weeks ago. Deepak Punia, meanwhile, has taken ill, suspected to be either dengue or typhoid. Both haven’t been in action since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“My knee is still swollen,” Ravi Dahiya told PTI. “I was getting ready for this event but what to do? The swelling has come down considerably but the knee is not good enough for competition.”

Deepak, meanwhile, confirmed that he has had a fever for a week and that it is not related to COVID-19.

Jitender Kinha will skip the ranking series event due to a shoulder injury.

The Matteo Pellicone wrestling event starts on Thursday.