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Asian Games 2018: Sakshi Malik says she wasn't happy with Gold Coast bronze, will look to put up better show in Indonesia

Asian Games 2018: Sakshi Malik says she wasn't happy with Gold Coast bronze, will look to put up better show in Indonesia

Wrestler Sakshi Malik admitted to not being happy at all with the bronze she had won at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, and that she has put the disappointment behind her. She is now gunning for greater success at the upcoming Asian Games.

Malik, who became a household name in the country after breaking India's medal-less run at the Rio Olympics in 2016 by collecting a bronze, had high hopes of winning gold at the time of arriving at Gold Coast in Australia, but suffered a defeats at the hands of Michelle Fazzari and Aminat Adeneyi, before pulling one back against New Zealand's Tayla Ford to settle for bronze at the event.

"I guess it’s all about your performance on the day, or perhaps God’s will. There was no shortage of effort from my side; on the contrary, I improved my training for the Games. Luck also plays a vital part."I wasn’t very happy with the bronze because I had won a silver in 2014 Commonwealth Games, and had hoped for a gold this time around. I had defeated the eventual gold medallist (Adeneyi) by a 10-2 margin just two months before the Gold Coast event, but I ended up losing to her later in April.

"So in all, I wasn’t very happy with that performance, but have put that behind now and am focusing on performing well at the Asian Games and winning a medal, in order to put all the doubts at the back of my mind to rest," said Malik on the sidelines of a send-off event organised for the wrestling contingent, organised by Tata Motors in New Delhi on Sunday.

Malik, who will be competing in the 62kg category at the Indonesia event, added that the Asian Games will pose a different, and a much tougher, challenge.

"Every competition is different. Commonwealth Games had a different level of challenge, and the Asian Games will have a tougher standard of competition, since Asian nations fare better at this sport.

"It’s all about preparing accordingly, knowing which set of nations and their wrestlers can give us a tough fight, and observing their videos," added Malik.

The 26-year-old grappler is married to another wrestler, Satyawart Kadian — who had won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games — and credits her husband for motivating her, especially when the going gets tough. Malik added that her husband understood the reasons behind her failures better than the masses, being someone belonging to the same discipline.

"He’s very supportive. He’s also a wrestler, and understands everything (that I go through). People accuse me of not practising enough when I lose, but it’s only an athlete who understands what a fellow athlete goes through.

"He keeps motivating me, especially during the lows. 'Agar main tere jitna strong hota to kisi ko nahi chorta (If I were as strong as you, I wouldn't spare anyone)' is something that he keeps repeating to me," added Malik.

The Asian Games takes place between 18 August and 2 September at the cities of Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia. The wrestling events at the Games are scheduled between 19 to 22 August. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had earlier announced an 18-member contingent for the event, with the likes of Sushil Kumar, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia among medal favourites aside from Malik.

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