Sonam Malik, who is a two-time time World Cadet, surprisingly defeats Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi Malik. However, that has not been the only shock win over an experienced wrestler; World Championship Medalist Pooja Dhanda also lost to Anshu Malik as they seal their places in the Indian team for the Asian Championships on Saturday.
Sonam and Anshu were drawn to face the experienced duo of Pooja Dhanda and Sakshi Malik in the first round, respectively, as they wrestled fearlessly without caring about their opponents’ reputation.
Sonam found herself trailing 4-6 in the second period but had to quickly bounce back to produce an excellent four-point throw with just three seconds left on the clock to make it 10-10 and won on the criteria of scoring the last point.
The sensational Sonam went on to defeat Radhika 4-1 in the final to seal her spot in the 62kg category in the Indian team.
Ajmer Malik coaches Sonam, who hails from a small village [Madina] in Haryana’s Sonepat in Gohana. At the same time, Anshu, who defeated Pooja and Mansi in the 57kg final category, has been training with Jagdeesh.
In the other category, there were no surprises with Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and Divya Kakran (68kg), easily winning their respective bouts.
Other wrestlers who won their bouts in the trials were Nirmal Devi in the 50kg and Kiran Godara in the (76kg) category, respectively.
The winners of each category will compete at the first ranking series of the event on the 15th -18th of January in Rome, followed by the Asian Championships on the 18th-23rd of February in New Delhi, India. If they can be able to win medals at these two events, they will have the chance to represent India at the Asian Olympics qualifiers in Xian from 27th -29th of March, 2020.
Written by: Olumide Akinnifesi