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Another Indian female wrestler Sonam Malik ensures an entry into the Tokyo Olympics as she beat Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazakhstan in the semi-finals of the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers on Saturday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Fighting in the 62kg of women's wrestling, Kassymova gained a six-point lead with a classy move which Sonam failed to recover and hurt her leg. Sonam recovered earning 2 points with a scoreline of 6-2. Just before half-time, Sonam picked up momentum and earned another 2 points. Sonam equalised at 6-6 son after the half-time. Sonam further took the lead to 8-6. A wonderful comeback by Sonam saw her get a three-point lead with a minute remaining which she maintained.
Despite an injury, Sonam beat Kassymova as she displayed impeccable moves coming back that couldn't be challenged by the Kazakh wrestler. Sonam now moves into the final.
She was drawn in Group B. In round 1, she took on China's Long Jia whom she beat 5-2 by VPO1. In Round 2, she defeated Chinese Taipei's Pai Ping Hsin by 11-0 VSU.
Eighteen-year-old Sonam Malik was the cynosure of all eyes who competed in the 62kg event at the selection trials. The national champion Sonam had to pull out of the Rome Ranking series due to a head injury that needed four stitches. After recovering from injury, she beat the Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik 8-7 in a thrilling final to confirm her spot in the Asian Qualifiers.
Sonam Malik has won two gold medals (2017, 2019) and bronze (2018) at Cadet World Championships and has a world-beating potential. Sonam Malik has defeated Sakshi Malik on four occasions. The youngster beat Sakshi - Asian championships selection trial last year and most recently, got the better of her senior colleague at the finals of the nationals.
Earlier, Anshu Malik qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, with a technical superiority stoked 12-2 win over Shokhida Akhmedova of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers. Sonam becomes the sixth Indian wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.