By Navneet SinghNew Delhi, April 10 : India’s Anshu Malik had to settle for silver after she went down fighting to Mongolia’s Khongorzul Baldsaikahan 7-4 in women’s 57kg while injured Sonam Malik gave a walkover to China’s Lia Long in the 62kg final on the second day of the Asian Wrestling Olympic qualifiers in Almaty on Friday.
After securing Tokyo Olympics berth in the morning session of the tournament, the 19-year-old Anshu from Nidani in Haryana couldn’t add a gold medal to her kitty in the evening session.Despite having a slender one point lead in the opening three minutes of the match, she conceded valuable points to her rival in the dying moments of an exciting contest to settle for silver.
Anshu’s father Dharamvir Malik was elated.He commended her daughter for staying focussed during the tournament.“Before departure, I advised her to not lose concentration and treat each bout as one step towards the main goal.We are happy she was able to execute the plans,” Anshu’s father told IANS from Nidani.
Sonam, 19, made a stunning comeback in the semi-final to beat Kazakstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova 9-6 to enter the gold medal round.But in the process, she injured her knee.
“By God’s grace, Sonam could secure an Olympic berth despite injury.I just hope she doesn’t take long to recover,” said Sonam’s coach Ajmer Singh from Sonepat.
India also collected three bronze medals through Seema (50kg), Nisha (68kg) and Pooja (76kg).
Despite winning bronze medals in their respective bouts, the wrestlers weren’t excited as they lost a golden opportunity to win Olympic quota.
The quota is for the country but the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) generally allots the quota to the wrestler who wins.