Veteran wrestler Sakshi Malik, a bronze medalist from Rio 2016, and Vinesh Phogat, a Tokyo Olympian, have been named in the Indian women's squad for the Commonwealth Games 2022 after dominating their weight divisions in the national selection trials that happened in Lucknow on Monday.
Malik, participating in the 62 kg weight class, beat Tokyo Olympian Sonam Malik 8-1 in the semi-finals following a string of losses to the youth in recent years. Sakshi defeated Manisha 7-1 in the final to earn a spot on the Indian squad for the Birmingham Games.
Manisha had defeated Sangeeta Phogat, wife of Bajrang Punia, 7-5 in the semi-finals on her route to the 62kg final. Likewise, Vinesh, a Tokyo Olympian, had to dig deep to defeat Antim in the 53kg final. Vinesh was undefeated in all of her bouts en route to the final. But she had to rally from a 0-3 deficit to win the match by earning the game's last point.
Anshu Malik (57kg), 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Divya Kakran (68kg), Pooja Gehlot (50kg), and Pooja Sihag (50kg) are among the noteworthy names who have made the cut (76kg).
Sarita Mor, a two-time Asian champion and bronze medalist at the World Championships, was eliminated after a close 2-1 loss against Anshu. Pooja Dhanda, the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, was also eliminated early in the 57kg division. From July 28 to August 8, 2022, the Commonwealth Games will be hosted in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The men's trials will be held on Tuesday by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia, both Olympic medalists from Tokyo, will participate in their respective divisions. Indian wrestlers dominated the medal tally in the last Commonwealth Games in 2018, winning five golds, three silvers, and four bronze medals.
WOMEN’S WRESTLING TEAM
Pooja Gehlot (50kg), Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Divya Kakran (68kg), Pooja Sihag (76kg)