The first woman to win a medal for India at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Sakshi Malik basked in glory once again as she won a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in wrestling.
As Sakshi stood on the top podium with the yellow metal around her neck, the Indian national anthem filled her heart with emotions that eventually rolled down her cheeks.
Sakshi hasn’t had the most fruitful of journeys since the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze. Her struggles in the subsequent events made her wait for a podium finish for 6 years. In Birmingham, her moment finally came, and she claimed the top podium spot in Women’s 62kg freestyle wrestling.
Sakshi began her contest in the 2022 Commonwealth Games by pinning her opponent Kelsey Barnes before winning the next round against Berthe Emilienne of Cameroon via technical superiority.
In the final, the Indian grappler was up against Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez of Canada. The Canadian took an early 4-0 lead over Sakshi but the Indian produced a dramatic turnaround. Executing her signature double-leg attack, Sakshi turned the heat on the Canadian and the pinfall was inevitable.
The satisfaction of such a result, after years of struggles with form, the pride of winning a gold medal for the country, the sacrifices made in the process, Sakshi went through a rush of emotions which took the form of tears and rolled down her cheeks.
“This time I just wanted to win gold. I gave my best and I am very happy. I got emotional when the national anthem was played after my win,” sais Sakshi after the bout.
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