Young Indian wrestler Priya Maik is scripting her own history as she won the 73kg title with a 5-0 win over Belarus' Kseniya Patapovich and clinched the gold medal in the Cadet World Championships. Little did she knew that her laurels at the junior world wrestling competition will reverberate around India but for other reasons.
With Indian sports fans in a frenzy after Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal in the 49kg weightlifting event, the expectations for the rest of the games from Indian athletes have upscaled significantly.
The expectations took a turn for the worse when Priya Malik's win at the Caded World Championships were passed off as a Gold medal win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as well. The misinformation campaign managed to trend on Twitter and flood Indian WhatsApp groups, which already are safe havens of political misinformation.
Who is Priya Malik?
Let us dive into Priya Malik's wrestling profile to cut down on the misinformation and bust the myth.
Priya Malik hails from the town of Roorkee in Haryana and was trained by Anshu Malik. Malik is a teenager and has not managed to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as further evidence against the claim of her 'Olympic Medal.' However, she is the first Indian wrestler to win a gold medal in the Cadet World Championships.
Malik began her campaign by winning 10-0 in the first round against Milla Andelic (Croatia) and sidelined Veronika Nyikos (Hungary) in the quarter-finals. She cruised into the final bout by a dominating win over Marilla Akulincheva (Russia). Malik blew away the Bulgarian wrestler, Kseniya Patapovich, 5-0 to win the world title before Indian social media mistook her for a Tokyo medallist.
Seema Bisla, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik and Sonam Malik are representing India at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics wrestling events while Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Bajrang Puniaa and Deepak Punia are the men wrestlers.