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Sonam Malik says 'Thank God' after wrestling camp postponed

Sonam Malik
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Sonam Malik 

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Indian wrestler Sonam Malik on Thursday "thanked God" after the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) decided to postpone the women's national camp in Lucknow owing to the coronavirus pandemic, after Vinesh Phogat pulled out unilaterally due to the same reason

New Delhi: Indian wrestler Sonam Malik on Thursday "thanked God" after the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) decided to postpone the women's national camp in Lucknow owing to the coronavirus pandemic, after Vinesh Phogat pulled out unilaterally due to the same reason.

The camp was scheduled to begin on September 1 in Lucknow but many women grapplers requested the federation for exemption in the wake of COVID-19. Later the Sports Authority of India (SAI) postponed it indefinitely in consultation with the WFI.

Speaking to IANS, Sonam said she is more than happy that the camp has been postponed. "I didn't want to go to Lucknow. I am happy training here near my home in Sonepat. Thank God, it got postponed. I am training with my coach Ajmer Malik sir. He is helping me overcome the weaknesses in my game. My speed has improved a lot," said the 18-year-old wrestler.

Sonam has so far not qualified for the 62 kg freestyle category. She is competing with 2016 Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, among others, for the lone Indian berth in this category.

Sonam had thrashed 2016 Olympic medallist Sakshi a second time for the Asian Olympic qualifiers trials this year. The WFI later said fresh trials will take place ahead of the Olympic qualifiers in mostly all weight categories, putting Sonam and Sakshi face to face yet again.

However, Sonam, the reigning world cadet champion who trains at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Sports Institute in Sonepat, is least bothered about the likely bout.

"My focus is to qualify for the Olympics and nothing other than that is on my mind. It feels great to beat an Olympic medallist twice. I don't think too much about what comes next," she said. "Tokyo Olympics is my dream and I want to win a medal there for my nation."

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