Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik has secured a place in the World Championship after her opponent Sarita Mor withdrew due to an injury while Sushil Kumar also pulled out of the championship due to his poor form. Meanwhile, Ritu Phogat will take on Pinky to ensure her qualification in the 53 kg category.
After Sarita Mor withdrew from the 62 kg category due to an injury, wrestler Sakshi Malik has qualified for the World Wrestling Championship without facing any trials. Sakshi has been struggling from the start of this season. She could only manage to bag a bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but returned empty-handed from the Asian Games.
Sushil Kumar, however, pulled out of the trials due to his poor form in the recently-concluded Asian Games. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had wanted both the wrestlers to go through the process of trials.
“The trials in four categories were left. Out of those, we chose not to disturb Bajrang Punia (men's 65kg) and Vinesh Phogat (women's 50kg). Sakshi was to fight Sarita but she has reported a knee injury so we are sending Sakshi to the Worlds," WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI.
At a UWW ranking event in Belarus, Sakshi had finished second after losing to Marianna Sastin of Azerbaijan by 2-6 on September 16. While the World Championship will be held at Budapest from October 20-28, her performance in Belarus will be a positive take away for sure.
On the other hand, Ritu Phogat will clash with Pinky on Tuesday in Lucknow to establish herself in the Indian World Championship squad for the 53 kg category. A U-23 National Championship will be held in Chittaurgarh, Rajasthan from September 27-30, in order to recognize emerging wrestlers informed WFI.
“The fourth category is women's 53kg. Ritu Phogat and Pinky will fight for that place. Ritu had competed in the 50kg category at the Yasar Dogu International in Turkey but we feel she can do well in the 53kg as well. She has a good medal chance in this category, so we decided to conduct a trial match between Ritu and Pinky," Tomar said.
“In the senior nationals, many juniors also compete but they get to clash against only with the aged wrestlers. They do not get great competition. They need to fight it out with strong wrestlers to be ready for international events. In the Under-23 Nationals, we will see better bouts and next stars will be identified."
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