- Malik defeated Canadian wrestler Gonzalez 0-4.
- Every player goes through bad times: Sakshi
Witness. Witness. Witness. Witness. It was these spells that filled the wrestling field that hosted the gold medal event in the women’s 62kg category. Malik recently defeated Canadian wrestler Gonzalez 0-4.
In an exclusive interview with India TV, Sakshi Malik takes us through her gold medal match at the Commonwealth Games 2022 and talks about her responsibility to inspire more girls like herself.
Here are excerpts from the interview.
How would you describe the period in your professional and personal life before making a grand comeback at the Commonwealth Games 2022?
Every athlete goes through bad times. So, the role of family and trainers becomes really important at that time. My family, coaches and my husband especially supported me immensely. He never let me doubt myself. The timing may have been bad but I was training well and wondering where I can improve my game. So, I just kept believing in myself, and the results were for all to see.
What was your mindset when you entered the program?
Look, I have been selected for the Commonwealth Games. I was really happy because it is very rare for athletes to play in three consecutive Commonwealth Games. I won bronze and also silver. It was just that I wanted to win gold at any cost.
Tell us about the last few minutes of your last Commonwealth Games.
It was an overload of emotions. See, wrestling matches can turn upside down in a jiffy. During the last game, I was back, but I thought, ‘Abhi toh tere paas 3 minutes left, attack kar more’. So, when I attacked, it all came together and my last move got me gold.
you were literally steaming off your opponents
My mindset was to finish the games as soon as possible. It’s just that you have to give your best no matter what your opponent is.
What is Sakshi Malik’s style of play? You don’t sound like someone who wants to be defensive.
I always try to play aggressive game. I know it can backfire if I start playing defensively, but when I’m in attack mode, I score more. I don’t want my opponent to grab me, I like to make the first move and it works well for me. So yes, I prefer an all-round attack approach.
Do you train differently for different opponents?
Training is not much different. It’s all about preparing by watching videos of different levels and different players. Right now my focus is on the upcoming Asian Games and I am preparing for it.
Do you now feel more responsible towards sport and society in general?
The mindset definitely changed with my win. People do not understand wrestling as a sport dominated by men only. Yes, it is a responsibility that if I do well, I may be able to inspire more girls out there.
What advice would you give to the girls out there?
Never underestimate yourself. Never consider yourself inferior to your male counterparts. In a place like Haryana, people have a specific mindset that only boys can do tough sports, business and things like that. You can do anything and everything that you put your mind to. Family support is most important. just believe in yourself.