The Indian sports contingent for the Rio Olympics is gradually but surely increasing. Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik have managed to qualify for the games to be held later this year in the 48 kg and 58 kg category respectively. Vinesh and Sakshi reached the finals of their respective weight categories at the second World Olympic Qualifier in Istanbul, Turkey to secure their berth in the Olympics at the last qualifying event for the sport.
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21 year old Vinesh defeated Turkey’s Evin Demirhan by Technical Fall with a final score of 12-2 becoming the first Indian woman freestyle wrestler to qualify for this year’s Olympics. An excited Phogat had this to say about her achievement, ” Going to the Olympics has been my dream right from the day I started wrestling. I am glad that I could achieve that today. It wasn’t an easy journey. I knew this was my last chance and I think I just put everything I had into making sure that I sealed that quota and proved myself.
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23 year old Sakshi, on the other hand , endured a tough semi-final outing in the 58 kg category, getting past China’s Lan Zhang with a 10-10 tie. Having missed out on the qualifier in Mongolia, Sakshi Malik represented India in the 58 kg category. Confident of doing well, Sakshi Malik shared, “We had been training quite intensively in Bulgaria and I was making sure that I was mentally prepared for the pressure that this competition brought. I was in good rhythm after my opening bout and I just continued to do what I was doing. It was a matter of keeping my composure in the last minute of my semi-final bout against the Chinese wrestler. I am happy that I managed to hold on.”
With their spirits so high, we can only hope they achieve new heights at the Olympics as well!
Feature Image Credit: sportsdiscovered