Sakshi Malik, an Indian wrestler, became the pride of India, after winning a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics 2016. Sakshi competed in the 58 Kg category and scored an emphatic win. She is also the first Indian women wrestler to have achieved an award at the Olympics. In the yesteryear, Sakshi managed to won a silver medal at the 2014 Common wealth games in Glasgow and also a bronze at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha.
Early life and Background
Sakshi was born on 3rd September in the year 1992 in a small village at Rothak district in Haryana, India. Her father Sukbhir Malik is an employee with Delhi Transportation Corporation while mother Sudesh Malik is a government servant. Her grandfather was also a wrestler.
Malik started her training at the age of 12 under a coach named as Ishwar Dahiya. In the beginning, she had to face many troubles from the locals in the village who would believe that wrestling is not meant for girls. The 5 feet 4 inch tall Sakshi, was determined about her goal and was clear about proving her detractors wrong.
Sakshi’s first success as a wrestler in the international platform came in the year 2010 at the Junior World Championships. She won the bronze medal in the 58 Kg freestyle wrestling event. After her first win, she again got the chance to compete in the 60 kg category at Dave Schultz International Tournament, where she achieved a gold medal for the first time.
Common wealth games-2014
The Glasgow Common Wealth game in the year 2014 is also marked as a glorious event in Sakshi’s career. At the quarter final, Malik defeated Edwige in a 4-0 margin. Again in the semi-finals she faced Braxton Stone and won by a margin of 3-1. Though it looked like she would win the finals, at Sakshi was defeated by Aminat Adeniyi of Nigeria in a 4- 0 margin.
World Wresting Champioship-2014
Sakshi also participated in the world wrestling championship in the year 2014 held at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In the first round, she faced Anta Sambou and won by a margin of 4-1 but again in the final, she lost over a margin of 3-1 to Petra Olli of Finland.
Asian Wrestling Championship-2015
Sakshi Malik again went on to participate at the Asian Wrestling Championship which was held in Doha Qatar. Malik was a part of the 60 Kg category and achieved a bronze medal after battling two heavy rounds. At the first round, Sakshi faced Luo Xiaojuan of china and in the second round Munkhtuya Tungalag of Mongolia. In the third round, she got defeated by Yoshimi Kayama but still was awarded the bronze medal in the following round after defeating Ayaulym Kassymova.
2016 Rio Olympics
Sakshi Malik acquired the first medal for India at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She won a bronze medal in the 58 kg category of Women’s freestyle wrestling. After losing the quarterfinal, Malik went on to win the Repechage against Mongolia’s Orkhon Purevdorjand then Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova (the reigning Asian champion). This 8-5 emphatic victory made Sakshi the first Indian female wrestler to won a medal at the Olympics and also the fourth Indian athlete to achieve recognition at the Olympic ground.
Sakshi Malik – Awards
Apart from the bronze medal, she received the following awards
- ₹2.5 crore (US$370,000) from the Government of Haryana, in addition to a state land grant.
- ₹60 lakh (US$89,000) from the Indian Railways, as her employer (₹50 lakh (US$74,000) for the medal and 10 lakh (US$15,000) for qualifying.
- Rani Laxmi Bai Award from the Government of Uttar Pradesh, with a prize of ₹3.11 lakh (US$4,600
- ₹15 lakh (US$22,000) from the JSW Group.
- ₹20 lakh (US$30,000) from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- ₹20 lakh (US$30,000) from the Indian Olympic Association.
- ₹1.01 lakh (US$1,500) from Salman Khan, for qualifying as an Olympic participant.
- Promotion from senior clerk in the Indian Railways to a gazetted officer rank.
Sakshi Malik – Husband Satyawart Kadian
She got engaged to her October 16, 2016 to her wrestler boyfriend Satyawart Kadian, in Rohtak. He is two years younger than her. The engagement was a private function attended by the families of the bride-to-be and the bridegroom.
Sakshi Malik’s husband-to be is the recipient in the 97 kg freestyle category and has bagged two medals, a bronze in the 2010 Youth Olympics and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games (2014), Glasgow. It is believed that the two fell in love when they were participating in wrestling tournaments. Satyawart’s father Satyavan Pehelwan is an Arjuna Awardee. Sakshi says her boyfriend has been a huge source of support and consider her dreams as his own.
The Rohtak to Rio journey took 12 years for Sakshi Malik. She says that Geeta Phogat was her inspiration for the Olympic win. She was mostly on a liquid carb-free diet during the training and performance at Olympics.