New Delhi: India’s wrestling golden girl, Sakshi Malik, brought an end to India’s long wait for a medal at the Rio Olympics (wrestling). The 24-year-old grappler from Rohtak, Haryana re-wrote the history after she defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova to win a bronze in the Women’s Freestyle 58kg category getting India its first medal at the Rio Olympics 2016, thereby becoming the first Indian woman to bag a medal in wrestling.

In an exclusive interview with Sakshi Malik, the first Indian wrestler to fame recalled her moment with the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, when he presented her with a BMW for her win at Rio. Recalling her glorious moment with the legendary cricketer, where he motivated her by suggesting her to prioritise her training in order to keep bringing medals for India. 

Sakshi also shared her moments prior to her win at Rio, saying that, “I used to ride my bicycle to my training sessions but after the present by Sachin sir, I feel special.”

“We had very less girls at training centre; since I was at a senior level there was no one to practice with. So, coach use to make me do bouts with boys, says Sakshi. Earlier when I was new to wrestling, everyone including my neighbours and relatives use to tell me that this is the sport for boys. But after my win they all stood quiet and supported me for my hard work”, said the wrestler.

While commenting on the current sport situation in India, Sakshi said, “There is no specific issue that is holding us from bringing more medals for India but, the petty issues which are being ignored. We need more training camps, more tournaments to participate in. Also 3-4 international competitions to enhance our confidence and experience. Also there should be proper counselling given to the athletes regarding dopes. Athletes should be made aware about the intake of supplements as we are just handed over supplements without proper information of their usage.”