The athlete has achieved many accolades for India in recent years.
Sakshi Malik is one of the most well-known wrestlers in India. She registered exceptional performance in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Rohtak-born athlete has represented the country at multiple multi-sports meet and other continental championships.
She is a heavyweight in terms of Asian female wrestlers in the freestyle category. The 28-year-old has inspired a lot of female athletes in the country to take up sports. She comes from an area where women are not supported in the field of sports, therefore is an inspiration for many young athletes.
Sakshi Malik has received several awards and achieved medals on the international stage. Here are five of the biggest achievements from her career so far:
5. Silver in 2014 Commonwealth Games
One of Malik’s first-major achievements on the international stage occurred in 2014. During the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, She secured an impressive silver medal. The Indian wrestler achieved the podium in the 58kg freestyle event.
After a string of solid performances, She lost the final to Aminat Adeniyi of Nigeria by a scoreline of 4-0. Her silver was one of the 30 silver medals India accumulated at the games.
4. Bronze in 2018 Commonwealth Games
Sakshi Malik carried her good form in the next edition of the Commonwealth Games too. During the 2018 Gold Coast Games, the wrestler secured a bronze medal, in the 62kg freestyle event. Sakshi was disappointed to not secure a gold, but did well to collect the bronze.
India won a total of 20 bronze medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and four of them were won by the wrestling contingent.
3. National Awards
Sakshi Malik is a national icon when it comes to sports. The Government of India has rightly recognised her contribution to the sport of wrestling. She has received prestigious national awards for her services to the nation.
The Indian wrestler received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award – the highest sporting honour in India – in 2016. Later in 2017, she received the Padma Shri award, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India. Interestingly, Sakshi has not been awarded the Arjuna Award since she already has the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.
2. Five medals in Asian Championships
Asian Championships is a tournament for the athletes to test their skills before the start of the Olympic Games alongside the Olympic qualifying tournaments. It serves as a good preparatory tournament for athletes around the world.
Over the past editions, Sakshi Malik has won five total medals at the Asian Championships. She won the bronze medal at the 2015 Doha championships in the 60kg event. The Indian wrestler clinched a silver medal in the 2017 championships held in New Delhi. She won two more bronze medals in the 2018 Biashek and 2019 Xi’an championships respectively.
Sakshi switched to 65 kg category for the 2021 Asian Wrestling Championship and won a silver medal.
1. Bronze in 2016 Rio Olympics
By far the biggest achievement of Sakhi Malik’s ongoing career has to be the prestigious bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She secured the bronze medal in the 58kg category freestyle event. The wrestler triumphed against Asian champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan by a score of 8 – 5 on the day.
The bronze was even more incredible since she was down by five points in the bout at one stage. However, Sakshi proceeded to make an incredible comeback. By doing so, she became the first Indian female athlete to win a medal in the Olympic Games.