CHENNAI: Financial stability is one of the main things that youngsters desire after taking up sports in the country. From the time that they start playing, one of their primary goals is to find a government job. With Indian Railways being the biggest employer for athletes in the country, most of these aspiring sportspersons dream of joining it once they carve out a niche for themselves in the sporting arena.
But Anshu Malik, who became the first woman wrestler from the country to win a silver medal at the World Championships in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, is different. Offered a job by the Indian Railways ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she chose not to join so that she can focus on wrestling and also complete her graduation. While she appeared in BA final year examinations days ahead of the Worlds, a historic medal in the event now means she is ready to take up the offer if made once again.
“Indian Railways made the offer before the Tokyo Games but she didn’t accept it. The reason was to do well at the Olympics and complete graduation. The exam results will be declared soon. Now, she will join if offered a post,” Dharamvir Malik, Anshu’s father, told this daily.
The 20-year-old Anshu had registered a dominating (11-0) win by superiority over Solomiia Vynnyk of Ukraine to storm into the 57kg final on Wednesday. By doing so, she had become the first woman wrestler from the country to storm into a Worlds final. Before her, only five Indian women wrestlers had won a bronze medal each in Worlds.
What made the feat more special was that she achieved it while nursing an elbow injury (muscle tear). The injury, however, seemed to have affected her show in the final where she lost to USA’s Helen Louise Maroulis, a two-time Worlds gold medallist and also the first American woman to win an Olympic gold (2016 Rio), (1-4) by a fall.
Medal for Sarita in her sixth appearance
Meanwhile, seasoned wrestler Sarita Mor defeated Sara Johanna Lindborg from Sweden 8-2 in the 59kg bronze medal play-off to pocket a medal late on Thursday night. This is her first medal at the marquee event in the sixth appearance.
Earlier in the day, the four Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers fail to progress to medal rounds. Harpreet (82kg) and Vikas (72kg) lost in the qualification round while Sandeep (55kg) lost his pre-quarterfinal bout. Sajan (77kg) though won his qualification bout but lost the next round to make an early exit from the tournament.