Wrestler Sakshi Malik skips national championship, rakes up controversy

Sakshi Malik, the first female wrestler from India to have achieved bronze in the Rio Olympics, did not take part in the wrestling in spite of having been in Gonda for three days.

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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New Delhi, Oct 27: Despite having committed to take part in the recently concluded national championship, held in Gonda in Uttar Pradesh, Sakshi Malik has created a controversy by skipping the event.

Who is Sakshi Malik?

Surprisingly, the first female wrestler from India to have achieved bronze in the Rio Olympics, did not take part in the wrestling in spite of having been in Gonda for three days.

Wrestler Sakshi Malik skips national championship, rakes up controversy

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) bosses invited Sakshi as the chief guest in the national championship but, at the same time allocated her name in her event as well.

(Sakshi Malik gets engaged to wrestler boyfriend Satyawart Kadian)

But the wrestler, who looked in a festive mood even after the end of around one-and-half months of Olympics, spent time encouraging her mates and other junior wrestlers for the whole two days.

There was a lot of fanfare in Gonda regarding Sakshi’s participation. Even other wrestlers like Sandip Tomar, Hardip Singh, and Ravindra Khettri looked surprised by Sakshi’s attitude of skipping the tournament.

Along with Sakshi’s denial to participate in the national championship, another controversy is likely to crop up. She won't be eligible to take part in the Commonwealth wrestling championship, starting from November 5 in Singapore.

According to WFI norms, as in Sakshi’s weight category (58kg), the wrestler who has played in the final qualified for the Commonwealth championship.

It has been learnt that WFI has not announced the women’s team for the Commonwealth championship just because the Federation bosses want to wait and watch Malik's performance.

Another controversy might also arise in the national championship, in Sakshi’s weight category, due to the presence of Ritu Phogat in the finals. Ritu is another sister of wrestlers Vinesh and Gita.

So, if she is finally eliminated from the squad for the Commonwealth championship then Phogat family, which has a strong influence over Indian wrestling, might not give up the matter.

Thus, another controversy typical with Sushil Kumar-and Narsing Yadav tussle before Rio Olympics is likely to come up. The picture will be only clear next week.

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