Bronze medallist at the 2016 Olympics, Sakshi Malik, has turned to her roots to continue her training for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
With a nation-wide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic restricting the Indian wrestler to her house, the Rohtak star has switched to an unused akhara (mud pit) in her backyard, ensuring that training continues uninterrupted.
“Abhi bilkul mai desi pehelwani kar rahi hun (these days I am doing desi style wrestling),” the 27-year-old told the Times of India.
“There is an akhara in the backyard of my house. I never used or opened it. These days, I go and open it and practice there… The process is quite time consuming and requires a lot of hard work, but I am really enjoying it.”
Tiring, but fun for Sakshi Malik
Since the pit has been unused for a long time, Sakshi Malik had to ensure that she got down to get her hands dirty to level the field, before heading in for training.
“You must have seen the wrestlers in rural areas, they would plough the area before stepping into it. I do the same these days,” she elaborated.
Having ploughed the field, her routine begins by pulling a wooden log tied to a long rope using her back to level the akhara soil, followed by some running around the pit before heading in for some bodyweight exercises. The 27-year-old then switches to yoga to wrap up her session.
Apart from maintaining her physical fitness, the Indian wrestler is also paying special attention to her mental well being in such uncertain times.
The Indian wrestling ace has endured a below-par run this season so far, unable to make the Indian team in the Olympic weight category for major competitions.
The grappler from Rohtak has been second best behind upcoming talent Sonam Malik, who has proved her worth by beating her much-decorated senior at the national trials.
However, with India yet to seal an Olympic quota in the 62kg category and the qualification events being pushed to next year, Sakshi Malik has been handed a sliver of hope, something she will be eager to make the most of.