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Anshu Malik heads to Japan for training after winning National crown

Olympian Anshu Malik will head to Japan to prepare for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers and will feature in the 57 kg category.

Anshu Malik heads to Japan for training after winning National crown

Pritish Raj

Published: 5 Feb 2024 10:20 AM GMT

Jaipur: Mat A of the wrestling nationals in the Railway Stadium, Jaipur turned a little more noisy on Sunday as world championship medalists Anshu Malik and Sarita Mor squared against each other in the 59 kg category final.

Both wrestlers were coming back from injury and both of them have a bit of history amongst them making it a perfect pay-per-view storyline for the onlookers.

When they met last in the Asian Games trials, Sarita Mor got better of Anshu Malik by the finest of the margins in Delhi.

After a disappointing 2023, Anshu expressed her relief after winning the title. "I needed to return to the mat with a win. I have endured multiple injuries in the last two years. First, it was an elbow injury after the Commonwealth Games and then a ligament tear of the knee," said Anshu after her win.

Earlier last year, Anshu failed to qualify for the National Games given her knee injury.

"This nationals is important for me to participate as it is the Olympic year. There will be qualifying trials and I wanted to see where I am lacking. I had lost to her (Sarita Mor) in the Asian Games trials and wanted to win today," she added further.

Coming back from the surgery, Anshu decided to cut her weight gradually and played in the non-Olympic category of 59 kg at the Nationals.

Talking about her decision, Anshu said, "I chose 59 kg here 'cause it was tough to cut all the weight I had gained after the injury. Also if we cut weight beyond necessary it can result in another injury. However, I will be competing in the 57 kg now."

Anshu will travel to Japan for further training

With Olympic qualifiers for women's wrestling coming up, Anshu Malik will travel to train at Nippon Sports Science University, the nursery for famed Japanese women wrestlers, including the current 53 kg star Akari Fujinami.

The logic behind traveling to Japan is to explore the strong wrestling system of Japan and train with the best in the World.

"As you know Japan is best in women's wrestling and I want to go there to train with the best Japanese wrestlers," said Anshu Malik about the Japan move.

Her father Dharamvir Malik explained that they want to learn and experience the methods of training practiced by Japanese players.

"We want to look at their system, the drills they do, and what are the methods that made them so successful as a wrestling nation," said Dharamvir.

The trip to Japan will be felicitated by the Sports Authority of India under the TOPS scheme where Anshu will travel with her physio and her father.

"I couldn't win the medal at the Tokyo Olympics but I hope to make the amends this time and come back with a medal," Anshu concluded.

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