How Indian wrestler Sumit Malik defied odds to win gold at 2018 Commonwealth Games 

Malik was told that he could not continue as a wrestler after surgery, but he returned to form with a top podium finish at Gold Coast

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Indian wrestler Sumit Malik recalled how he overcame adversity to clinch the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Sushil Kumar's YouTube channel.

Malik had his eyes set on Commonwealth Games glory, but he was set back by an injury. He subsequently underwent an operation where the doctor had advised him not to continue with the sport.

"I injured a part near my waist and then underwent an operation. Then the doctor said that I cannot carry on with wrestling. Then guruji said with practice everything is possible," Sumit Malik told Sushil Kumar on his YouTube channel. "I followed the schedule for Commonwealth Games. Went for a regular checkup to the doctor, did my physiotherapy."

The 28-year-old, however, showed sheer determination to fight back and made the country proud at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast. He bagged the top podium spot in the men's freestyle 125kg as his opponent Sinivie Boltic from Nigeria was ruled out from the final due to an injury.

Malik was introduced to the sport by his uncle at the Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi - the home of star wrestlers like Yogeshwar Dutt, Sushil Kumar and Amit Kumar Dahiya.

Having taken up wrestling at the age of 14, Malik found the rigorous training tough to engage at first in but in a few years he grew to like the discipline.

Sushil Kumar celebrates his 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal in Delhi

"When I was 14 came at the Chhatrasal Stadium. My uncle used to do wrestling. I came with him here. He told me that we have to go to guruji and learn wrestling. Since then I've been doing it," Malik said.

"When I came here. Within a year or two I felt like this is what I should do. I felt, in the beginning, that I can't train so much," he added.

London 2012 silver medallist Sushil was mighty impressed with Malik's rope training as he believes that it will make a heavyweight wrestler stronger and improve his grip on the opponent.

"Sumit does ropes training even though he competes in 125kg category. When a wrestler of that weight category does ropes then no one can stop him from being strong," Sushil Kumar said. "Ropes training helps to better grip. It can help to get the grip on opponents and he will not be able to get away from you," he added.