Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Sonam Malik, with her victory, became the youngest Indian female wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Eighteen-year-old Sonam Malik became the youngest Indian female wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as the country bagged two quota places in the Asian Olympic Games qualifiers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Saturday.

Teenagers Sonam and Anshu Malik reached the finals of 62kg and 57kg respectively to book their berths in the Olympics.

Sonam defeated Jia Long of China 5-2 and Hsin Ping Pai of Chinese Taipei 11-0 in her Group B matches to reach the semifinals.

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In a last-four contest, Sonam rallied from 6-0 down to beat World championships bronze medallist Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazakhstan 9-6 and ensure her place in the Olympics. Having picked up an injury during the semifinals, Sonam did not fight the final against Jia and settled for the silver medal.

Nineteen-year-old Anshu beat Olympian Jieun Um of South Korea 10-0 and Emma Tissina of Kazakhstan 10-0 in her Group A matches and Shokhida Akhmedova of Uzbekistan 12-2 in the semifinals to make it to the Olympics.

Anshu lost to Khongorzul Boldsaikhan of Mongolia 7-4 in the title clash to take the silver. Nisha (68kg) and Pooja (76kg) claimed bronze medals.

Vinesh Phogat (53kg) was the first woman from the country to book her spot in the Tokyo Games. Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) are the men freestyle wrestlers who have ensured their places in the Olympics so far.


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