Sakshi Malik remains hopeful of getting another opportunity to contest for a Tokyo Olympics berth

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New Delhi: Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik remains hopeful of getting another opportunity to contest for a Tokyo Olympics berth, as she continues her preparation for the Asian Wrestling Championships (AWC), to be held from February 18-23.

Sakshi was defeated by two-time world cadet champion Sonam Malik in the 62-kg weight category in the trials for the Asian World Olympics qualifiers.

“I am hopeful for another round of trials. If I qualify in that I will have two more chances, the Asian World Olympics qualifiers and the World Olympics qualifiers. I want to qualify in the two key tournaments,” Sakshi said.

“Preparations for the AWC have been good. My motto is to give my best, be it any competition, and win medals. I am working hard on myself and my techniques. I need to make sure that I don’t repeat the same mistakes that I have made in the previous tournaments,” she added.

In the trial match for the Asian Olympic Games Qualifier, Sonam Malik was trailing 4-6 to Sakshi towards the end of the match, but levelled the scores 10-10 in the dying seconds with a move which earned her four points, resulting in the seasoned pro’s elimination.

Sakshi elaborated on her plans for the upcoming AWC, touching on the difference in weight class that she will be facing and said, “This time at the Asian Wrestling Championships, I will be wrestling in the 65 kg weight category, which is a heavy weight category. Hence, I am watching opponents in the same weight category and trying to improvise with my strategies and techniques.”

She also emphasised that presence of mind at every stage of a bout is crucial by saying, “In wrestling, weaknesses are aplenty, be it in technique, defence or attack. Most importantly our mind should be working for each and every second in a match.”

“Not being aware for even a second can result in your defence being exposed or you might get attacked in the last few seconds,” Sakshi concluded.

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