The 19-year-old defeated the senior wrestler for the third time in her short career.
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik faced a major upset on Saturday, as she lost to youngster Sonam Malik in the ongoing Senior Women’s National Wrestling Championships at Agra’s Holy Light Senior Secondary School.
Haryana’s Sonam Malik showed great commitment in the match and defeated Sakshi Malik, who was representing Railways, 7-5 in the final of the 62kg weight category to win the coveted title.
However, Sakshi dominated the early phases of the match. She started the bout with a double leg attack and then followed it by a takedown to get four points in the opening minute.
Sonam Malik didn’t lose her composure and toiled hard to make a comeback in the bout. She gained a few points after throwing Sakshi out of bounds.
The youngster then frustrated her senior with a solid defence. Sakshi tried to attack from different angles, but failed to break her opponent’s defence. Sonam eventually inflicted her first takedown of the match and lead the bout 5-4 before the break.
Sakshi went on with her all-out attack attitude after the break as well, but wasn’t able to gain much from her moves. Sonam Malik stayed close to her compatriot and didn’t give her an opportunity to perform a top-class move.
Eventually, the 28-year-old came under pressure due to the lack of time to mount a comeback and allowed Sonam Malik to go for another takedown, as the youngster registered her third win over the star Indian wrestler.
This defeat comes as a huge disappointment for Sakshi, as she haven’t qualified for the Tokyo Olympics yet and has been looking out of form for a while now.
Sakshi hasn’t had much success since her Olympic glory. She claimed a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast (62kg) and a silver at the 2020 Asian wrestling championships, in the 65kg category, a non-Olympic weight division. But, besides the two, she hasn’t made it to a medal round in any of the big-ticket events.