Four CWG medallists including Anshu to miss wrestling Worlds selection trials

Anshu won silver while Divya, Gehlot and Sihag bagged a bronze each at the CWG; the trials are scheduled at the SAI centre in Lucknow on August 29

Published: 26th August 2022 11:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2022 11:36 PM   |  A+A-

MEDAL: Bronze Winner: Pooja Gehlot SPORT: Women's 50kg freestyle wrestling Gehlot won the bronze medal match 12-2 and won on the basis of technical superiority. (Photo | AP)

Image from the CWG: 50kg freestyle wrestling, Pooja Gehlot won the bronze medal match 12-2 and won on the basis of technical superiority. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Four Commonwealth Games medallists including Anshu Malik, who had bagged 57kg silver, will not participate in the selection trials scheduled at the SAI centre in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on August 29. The trials are being organised to select the national team for the World Championships scheduled in Belgrade, Serbia, from September 10 to 18.

The selection trials for the male wrestlers will be held the next day in New Delhi. The other wrestlers, who will skip the trials, are Pooja Gehlot (50kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) and Pooja Sihag (76kg). All of them bagged a bronze each in their respective weight categories in Birmingham. The Rio bronze medallist, Sakshi Malik, who had clinched gold in 62kg at the CWG, is also not a certainty and a final call on her participation is likely on Saturday.

"Anshu sustained injured her left elbow during the Asian Championships. She had been advised surgery but she decided to compete at the CWG and then undergo an operation," Dharamvir Malik, Anshu's father, told this daily. The wrestler, who had become the first woman from the country to clinch silver at the Worlds last year, underwent surgery on August 18 and is likely to stay out of competitive wrestling for at least two and half months.

 Anshu Malik after surgery - special arrangement

"Dinshaw Pardiwala, the Mumbai doctor who specialises in sports, operated her elbow. The doctor told us that a few broken pieces of bone were stuck in her elbow joint and they were hindering the movement of the elbow. She is expected to get back on the mat in one and a half months and will take another month to get ready for international bouts. Maybe she can make a comeback in December," added father.Gehlot and Sihag too are injured. While Gehlot is said to be nursing an elbow injury, Sihag is having a back problem.

Break for Divya
Divya, however, is taking a small break from wrestling. "She is not physically fit for a big event like Worlds soon after competing at the CWG. She also wants a break from competition to recharge. Though she sustained an injury in Birmingham, it's not the reason for her to skip the trials. She is preparing for the National Games," Neena, Divya's sparring partner, said.Even Sakshi is doubtful for the trials as she has not decided on participation yet. "We will confirm it by Saturday," Satyawart Kadian, Sakshi's husband, told this daily.

Tough competition
Despite big names withdrawing from the trials, head coach Jitendra Yadav believes the field will not be depleted as a lot of young wrestlers are expected to give a tough fight to their senior counterparts. "Antim (Panghal) is already a wrestler to look out for especially after becoming the first woman from the country to win gold at the U-20 Worlds. She lost on criteria against Vinesh Phogat (53kg) in May during the CWG selection trials. This time too, the bout between the two is expected to go down the wire. Neelam, who lost to Pooja in 50kg, and Priyanshi Prajapati will make the competition tough in the weight category. Sarita Mor, who in 2022 had become the only Indian woman wrestler to win four medals (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze) at the Asian Championships by finishing third in the 59kg bronze, will compete in 57kg. Worlds medallist Pooja Dhanda will compete in 59kg," said the coach.


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