Games & medals
Rio de Janeiro 2016
|#=3||Wrestling||Lightweight, Freestyle (≤58 kilograms)|
Sakshi MALIK biography
Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik is a pioneer in more ways than one. Aside from becoming the very first Indian women wrestler to win a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, she changed perceptions and became a role model to future generations of female wrestlers.
That bronze medal at the Olympics was the culmination of a number of impressive achievements that defined her impressive career in wrestling.
Sakshi Malik was born on September 3, 1992, in the village of Mokhra in the Rohtak district of Haryana.
After watching her grandfather Subir Malik, also a wrestler, it was not long before Sakshi Malik was inspired to take up the sport that would go on to define her career.
At just 12, she began training under Ishwar Dahiya and five years later, she experienced her first taste of success with a silver medal in the 2009 Asian Junior World Championships in 59kg freestyle, which was followed by a bronze medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships.
After winning bronze at the 2013 Commonwealth Championships, Sakshi Malik contested her first Commonwealth Games the following year in Glasgow and came away with a silver medal after stumbling against Nigeria’s Aminat Adeniyi in the 58kg final. She would go on to bag her second and final Commonwealth Games medal in 2018 with a bronze in the 62kg category.
However, Sakshi Malik’s biggest achievement till date will remain the Olympic bronze medal she won at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the 58 kg weight category.
After Geeta Phogat was provisionally suspended following the forfeiture of her repechage round in Mongolia, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) picked up Sakshi Malik, who went on to secure her Olympic berth by defeating Zhang Lan of China in the 58kg semi-final of the Olympic World Qualifying Tournament.
Despite losing to Russia’s Valeria Koblova in the quarter-final, Malik won her repechage round against Mongolian Pürevdorjiin Orkhon.
Adding to the drama at Rio 2016, Vinesh Phogat injured her knee during her quarter-final bout, seemingly dashing Indian hopes. However, Sakshi Malik stepped up to fill the void, with a superb 8-5 triumph over the reigning Asian Champion Aisuluu Tynybekova earning Malik her bronze medal.
Along the way, the Olympic medallist has been a regular contender at the Asian Championships, picking up three bronze medals and one silver between 2015 and 2019.
Her exploits have served as inspiration for the next generation of female wrestlers, and no example illustrates that clearer than Sonam Malik, who edged Sakshi Malik in the first national women’s wrestling trials back in January to make the Indian team for the Asian Olympic qualifiers and is pegged by many as one of India’s Tokyo Olympics hopefuls.
Currently employed by the Indian Railways and also a part of the JSW Sports Excellence Program, Sakshi Malik is now married and settled down with fellow Indian wrestler Satyawart Kadian in her hometown of Rohtak.