Five Indian women wrestlers have qualified for the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Almaty, Kazakhstan during the selection trials staged at the SAI training centre, in Lucknow. 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze medallist Sakshi Malik was eliminated in the 62 kg category by current national champion Sonam Malik.
Wrestling has been one of the disciplines that have given India hopes and medals in the recent past, with four medals in the past editions of the mega-event. With the nation eyeing yet another successful outing at the Games, the wrestlers would be at the forefront of the Tokyo mission.
Recently, four Indian women wrestlers - Sonam Malik (62 kg), Anshu Malik (57 kg), Seema (50 kg), Nisha Dahiya (68 kg), and Pooja Sihag (76 kg) qualified for the Asian Olympic qualifiers to be staged in Almaty, Kazakhstan. All of the above athletes won their respective events at the selection trials at the SAI training centre, in Lucknow.
The marquee clash of the meet was Sonam Malik facing 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze medallist Sakshi Malik in the 62 kg category. Even though Soman missed out on a Matteo Pellicone Memorial meet in Rome earlier this month due to an injury, she claimed a top-podium finish by virtue of a thrilling 8-7 win over the veteran.
Meanwhile, nine wrestlers have already made the cut to the Asian qualification during the men’s selection trials. On the other hand, Bajrang Punia (freestyle 65kg), Ravi Kumar Dahiya (freestyle 57kg) and Deepak Punia (freestyle 86kg), along with women’s wrestler Vinesh Phogat (53 kg) have already qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.