The moment Satyawart Kadian won the gold medal in the 97kg category at the Wrestling Senior Nationals last week, a loud cheer went in the crowd and all eyes turned to Sakshi Malik. The Rio Olympic bronze medallist, sitting quietly alongside her mother, gave a round of applause. Nandi Nagar, the host town for the Nationals, wanted to see recently engaged Sakshi and Satyawart on the mat but it could not happen as she decided to skip the tournament. But now, not only they will compete, they can be part of the same team.
With the Pro Wrestling League just about a month away, Sakshi and Satyawart can wrestle together if both are picked by the same team. And Sakshi can’t ask for more.
Sakshi counts on her fiance at every step even when it comes to wrestling and she feels blessed to be part of family which has a rich wrestling background which can also help her.
Satywart’s father, Satyawan is an Arjuna awardee and has represented India in Olympics. Sombir, Satyawart’s brother is also an international wrestler and won the bronze medal in 86kg at the recently concluded Nationals.
“Satywart helps in studying my opponents and then helps me make strategies against them. I also try to help him in analysing his opponents,” says Sakshi.
Ahead of PWL 2, Sakshi recalled her experience from the first season and how that helped her improve her wrestling. She mentioned that practicing with Adeline Gray helped her in every aspect of the sport.
“Watching Gray we learned to play openly. It was a great moment for me to do mat training with her. The league has taught us to compete with international level wrestler and has also boosted ,” she says.
Sakshi won the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics earlier this month to become the first female wrestler from India to win an Olympic medal. And she credits her coach for helping her achieve the feat.
“The experience of getting back into the game and winning despite of trailing has been taught to me by my coach,” Sakshi says. “I am indebted to the services of my coach, especially Ishwar Dahiya who has given me the best and appropriate training for this game. After his retirement in 2010, Mandeep Sir had focused on my strengths and weaknesses. I have learnt much from Kuldeepji (Malik) in the National Camp”, she adds.