Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
In a delightful turn of events at the final Olympic qualifiers taking place at Istanbul, 24-year-old Sakshi Malik became the only second Indian woman wrestler to book a place on the Rio bandwagon.
Facing her Chinese counterpart Lan Zhang in the semi-final of the 58kg category under freestyle wrestling, Sakshi seized the last opportunity to qualify for the summer games in style.
In a fiercely contested clash, she led her opponent 6-3 at the end of the first period and followed it up with remarkable determination in the second to make it 10-10 and subsequently made the cut by winning the tie that had come tantalizingly close to slipping from her control.
It is a fairytale outcome for the Commonwealth 2014 silver-medallist from Haryana to qualify for her first Olympic games on the same day as her compatriot Vinesh Phogat, who, earlier, earned the 1st qualification for the Indian women’s wrestling contingent after defeating Turkey’s Evin Demirhan in the semifinals of the 48kg category.