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Wrestler Anshu Malik qualifies for Tokyo Olympics a month after recovering from injury
Anshu Malik ensures an entry into the Tokyo Olympics as she beat Shokhida Akhmedova of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers.
India's female wrestler Anshu Malik ensures an entry into the Tokyo Olympics as she beat Shokhida Akhmedova of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers on Saturday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Fighting in the 57kg of women's wrestling semifinal, Anshu earned a quick 2 points over her opponent in the start of the fight and another 2 points in the same minute. Akhmedova hit back and grappled Anshu earning 2 points. With four minutes remaining in the clock, Anshu led 6-2. At the half-way mark, Anshu had a eight-point lead of 10-2. With more than 2mins 30 seconds in the clock, Anshu won by technical superiority of 12-2.
Anshu beat her opponent and reaches final.
This is going to be the first Olympics appearance for Anshu, who is aged just 19.
Anshu was drawn in Group A. In round 1, she took on Korea's Um Jiuen whom she beat 10-0 VSU. In Round 2, she defeated Kazakhstan's Tissina Emma by 10-0 VSU.
Anshu Malik has just recovered from a back injury she sustained in the first week of March. Due to a stiff back, 19-year-old Malik was forced to withdraw from the women's 57kg bronze medal bout during the Matteo Pellicone World Ranking Series held in Rome from March 4 to 7. However, the international wrestler from Nidani, Haryana, went on to win the national selection trials for the Asian Olympic qualifier, held in Lucknow.
In the 2019 Olympic qualification cycle, Vinesh Phogat had won an Olympic quota place in the women's 53kg. The other top female wrestlers weren't successful in the 2019 season. After the 2020 season was disrupted due to the Covid pandemic the qualification system has resumed again. The Asian Olympics qualification tournament is the first for Asian countries.
The other three quota places in the men's freestyle event came in 2019. Bajrang Punia (65kg), Ravi Dahiya (57kg), and Deepak Punia (86kg) were successful in booking berths to Tokyo.
Malik has given a good account of her prowess since moving up to the senior level in 2019. She won bronze in the Asian Championships held in February last year at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex in New Delhi.
In December, Malik won silver in the Individual World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia.