New Delhi: Sakshi Malik, who became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a medal at Olympics, has revealed the name of the athlete who is her inspiration.
While many would believe her inspiration to be Sushil Kumar, India's only two-time medallist at the biggest sporting extravaganza, the wrestler from Rohtak revealed that her inspiration was Japanese wrestler Kaori Icho, who won gold at Rio Olympics.
“As far as women’s wrestling is concerned, Japan is very good. I saw how girls from that country like Kaori trained and learnt their life stories. That inspired me a lot as a wrestler,” Sakshi told The Times of India.
With another gold at Rio, Icho became the first woman to win four individual gold medals at four consecutive Games.
The 23-year-old also said that for better performances, Indian grapplers should learn from their foreign counterparts.
“I’ve learnt a lot from wrestlers of other countries in the last few months when we had training camps in Spain and Bulgaria. They are disciplined beyond measure and quiet,” she said.
Ending India's medal-less run at Rio, Sakshi clinched a bronze medal in the 58kg category, pulling off a sensational 8-5 victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova in the play-off bout.