After winning the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, wrestler Sakshi Malik feels that it was the right time that she won a medal in her career after a decade-long hard work. The 24-year old was also hopeful that she could train more youngsters who wish to take up the sport of Wrestling.
After the country went without a single medal for the first 11 days at the Olympics in Rio, wrestler Sakshi Malik ended the medal drought by winning India's first medal in the women's freestyle 58kg wrestling. After winning her qualification round bout 5-4 against Sweden's Malin Johanna Mattson and the Round of 16 match against Mariana Cherdivara Esanu of Moldova 5-5, Malik bowed out of the quarters after losing to Russia's Valeria Koblova 2-9. However, she won the bronze-medal through repêchage after the Russian reached the final, by winning 8-5 against Kyrgyzstan's Aysuluu Tynybekova.
Speaking about her exploits at the Olympics in a felicitation event held by JSW Sports, Sakshi said, “I did not want to wait for four more years to do something exceptional at the Olympic Games. It was up to me to deliver after 12 years of preparation. No one else could do it for me,” reported The Hindu.
Sakshi, who is also one of the 12 Olympians selected for training by JSW Sports, spoke about her calm demeanour off the mat.
“I am a calm, quiet person. I never get into fights; I have never slapped anyone in anger. Aggression is reserved for those minutes on the mat,” she said.
When quizzed about the difficulties she faced as a girl in Haryana, taking up the sport, the Olympian credited her parents for their unflinching support.
“The support from my family has taken me so far. They were ready to back me in whatever I did, in wrestling or anything else,” she said.
Malik also spoke about the reaction she received from parents who wanted their kids to take up the sport and expressed her interest in training youngsters.
“Parents seek my blessing for their children back home. How can blessing make a difference to children’s lives? It would be better if I could train the young ones in wrestling.”