Sakshi: 'Satyawart and I donning same jersey in PWL will help team'

Satyawart, the current national champion in Men’s 97kg freestyle category, helps Sakshi by studying her competitors and making strategies against them, while she too provides him with incisive analysis of his rivals’ moves.

Sakshi Malik got engaged to Satyawart Kadian last month.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Sakshi Malik is back on the mat, training twice daily, at Rohtak’s Chhoturam Stadium akhara where she learnt her first lessons of wrestling.

After spending two hectic months attending felicitation events following her Olympics bronze medal winning feat in the Rio Games, Sakshi has shifted her focus back to her training in order to get ready for the upcoming Pro Wrestling League (PWL) Season-II, starting from December 15.

“Life has changed a lot (after Rio) and people have been recognising me as a prominent sportsperson. Nevertheless, I have resumed my usual training now to be in good shape for the PWL,” Sakshi told Sportstar on Tuesday.

Sakshi, who was a lesser known wrestler during the inaugural edition of the PWL and hogged the limelight by beating Olympian Geeta Phogat, said she would be under pressure in the second PWL due to her stature as an Olympic medallist. “Of course, there will be pressure on me, but I am focusing on my training more than before and will give my best.”

Talking about her own journey, Sakshi said she had bigger ambitions and her engagement with wrestler Satyawart Kadian would not hamper her career. “I want to go further and win medals in the World championship and get a bigger medal in the Olympics. After the PWL, I am planning to take part in the Asian championship next year. If one focuses on one’s career, nothing can distract,” she said.

Sakshi Malik feels if she and her fiance Satyawart Kadian don the same team jersey in the second edition of Pro Wrestling League (PWL) it will benefit that franchise immensely.

Satyawart, the current national champion in Men’s 97kg freestyle category, helps Sakshi by studying her competitors and making strategies against them, she provides him with incisive analysis of his rivals’ moves. “He studies my competition and I analyse his,” said Sakshi.

The 24-year-old Sakshi had represented Revanta Mumbai Garuda in the first season of PWL, while Satyawart was a part of the UP Warriors.

Sakshi, who fights in the women’s 58kg category, said that besides her coaches she has also learnt a lot from her Revanta Mumbai Garuda captain Adeline Gray of USA.

“Watching her we learnt to play openly. It has been a memorable moment for me to do mat training with her. This league has taught us to compete with the international level athletes and has also boosted our moral but the experience of getting back into the game and winning despite of losing, has been taught by great efforts to me by my coach,” said Sakshi.

“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 so much from Kuldeepji (Malik) in the National Camp also.”

According to Sakshi, the PWL, which benefitted the Indian wrestlers in the first season, has spurred ambitions in young wrestlers. “The PWL has a lot of contribution in taking Indian wrestling forward. We get to interact with World and Olympic champions from abroad at our backyard and train and compete with them to get better.

“Now a lot of youngsters are eager to take part in the league and do well.”

She also urged all the PWL teams to open their coaching camps before the beginning of the League so that every Indian wrestler can get an opportunity to learn from the Olympic medallists.

Sakshi said along with her Olympic medal and the PWL impact, an upcoming movie on women’s wrestling would boost the sport. “If we take care of women’s wrestling, then we can be among the top two or three countries in the world. The movie will also promote women’s wrestling.”