Young Olympian wrestler and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat and Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik will lead India’s six-member wrestling team at the Asian Games. The event will be held in Indonesia later this year. They were exempted from the trials by the Wrestling Federation of India. Looking back at their current form and past performances, the federation took the decision.
Sakshi and Vinesh will carry India’s hopes in the 50kg and 62kg freestyle categories respectively
A win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games made Vinesh the first Indian woman to win two wrestling gold medals at the Games. She also won gold in the 48 kg category in Glasgow four years ago. The 22-year-old wrestler from Haryana stood proud when in the Gold Coast final she knocked down Canada’s Jessica Macdonald. This is how she turned around her Rio Olympics heartbreak. She is winner of a bronze at the Asian Games and a silver at the Asian Championships.
Malik, on the other hand, is a silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the bronze medal winner at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha. At the Rio Olympics, she became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a medal. In 2017, she bagged a gold at the Commonwealth World Championships but was knocked out in the first round of the World Wrestling Championship. Malik had been away from the podium for a while now. She couldn’t make a mark in CWG either.
Four other wrestlers who went through the trials have booked their for the Asian Games’ berths
Other women wrestlers who are representing India at the Asian Games are Pinki (53kg), Pooja Dhanda (57kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) and Kiran (72kg).
The Asian Games is slated be held in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.