Home Wrestling Anshu Malik overcomes pain, Tokyo disappointment with historic World Championships run

Anshu Malik overcomes pain, Tokyo disappointment with historic World Championships run


Anshu Malik made historical past in Oslo on Wednesday – her complete 11-0 technical superiority victory over Solomiia Vynnyk of Ukraine making her the primary Indian girl wrestler to make the finals of the World Championships. She’s carrying that mantle frivolously although. No less than that is the impression you’d get in case you had been aware of the 20-year-old’s publish victory name together with her father Dharamvir Malik. The chat was a really transient one. “After I congratulated her, she said she had to get back to training. She has the final to wrestle in as well so she had to cut weight once again. She’s very focused. She’s not thinking about making the final. She wants to win a gold,” he says.

Anshu has been a wrestler on a mission after a troublesome previous few months for her. In April, she turned one of many youngest Indians to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in April, capping a exceptional run on the senior degree over a 12 months and a half – the place she would win Asian gold and a silver on the Particular person World Cup in Belgrade in 2020. However simply when she had hoped to interrupt out, issues had not gone her manner. Her build-up to the Olympics was marred by an outbreak of COVID-19 in her household. At the same time as her father struggled with a nasty bout, Anshu needed to practice out of a resort room. She had given her greatest on the Olympics however misplaced to eventual finalist Iryna Kurachkina after which Valeria Koblova within the repechage.

“She was very upset after the Olympics. She had hoped to return with a medal and she came back empty-handed,” says her father. After a couple of days as she got here to phrases with the defeat, she selected a brand new problem. “She said even if I couldn’t win a medal at the Olympics, I’m going to win one at the World championships,” he says.

However there can be additional challenges in retailer for her. She had aggravated a long-standing niggle in her left elbow on the Olympics. “It would just lock by itself,” Anshu would clarify. Regardless of the potential danger, she determined to compete within the trials to pick the Indian group for the World Championships. Within the last bout of the competitors, that elbow tweaked painfully as soon as once more and what was as soon as an irritation developed right into a tear.

“The doctors advised her to sit out of the World Championships. But she was determined she would go,” says her father. For all her resolve, it was unattainable to make use of her elbow. “For two weeks we only trained her legs. It’s only the last week before the World Championships that we trained her upper body,” says her coach Jagdish Sheoran.

Regardless of the ache she was below, Anshu says she by no means thought-about skipping the World Championships. “It was very difficult. Just after the Olympics, I didn’t have the performance I wanted. I picked up an injury in my elbow. The one month I prepared for the Worlds, only I can say how I trained. But I just wanted to fulfill what I had missed out on at the Olympics,” she advised reporters in Oslo following her semifinal. In Oslo, she says the ache was forgotten. “I wrestled every match as if I was wrestling for the last time. The elbow isn’t all right but once on the mat you don’t even think about it,” she says.

It’s true that the World Championships featured a depleted discipline, with solely Olympic bronze medallists Helen Maroulis of the USA and Evelina Nikolova coming back from Tokyo to compete in Oslo. Anshu additionally received a beneficial draw with each Maroulis and Nikolova in addition to Japan’s 2019 Junior World Champion Sae Nanjo on the alternative aspect of the draw. However Anshu did what she wanted to do. She got here by way of a difficult opening bout towards present junior world champion Nilufar Raimova with a 15-5 victory by technical superiority, then beat 2020 Asian silver medallist Davaachimeg Erkhembayar 5-1 earlier than rolling over 2021 European junior champion Solomiia Vynnyk within the semis.

Though she’s already created historical past, Anshu says she desires to go one step additional. She’ll must get previous USA’s Helen Maroulis although. Though Maroulis received a bronze in Tokyo, she’s a gold medallist from Rio and is a two-time world champion. The Indian although goes into the competition with none worry. “I’m feeling really good. Whatever mistakes I had made at the Olympics, I’m getting a chance to correct them here. I just wanted to give my 100 percent. I’ve given my 100 percent in all my matches. I wrestled each match as if it was my last. I will fight the final as if I am wrestling my final match also,” she says.

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