Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik is asking all of these questions to Sports Authority of India’s mandarins. In an interview to Republic World, India’s only female wrestling medallist at Olympics in wrestling Sakshi said she feels “low & utterly disappointed” at being ‘dropped’ from the list of SAI’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
The website has quoted Sakshi saying that, “I have won a medal for the country in the last Olympics. I am 27 not so old… and I am striving to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics which is just 9 months away. And you drop me from TOP Scheme. I am really disappointed and feel dejected. You cannot judge me by my one failure in World Championship held in Nur-Sultan last month.”
The Sports Authority of India came out with its new list on Friday, which “did not continue” with Sakshi as a TOP scheme beneficiary and had preferred to include new faces like Ravi Dhaiya in the government scheme for the top athletes. Young wrestler Dahiya, who recently won a World championships bronze medal, was included in the TOPS while Sakshi was dropped from the programme as she lost out in the opening bout at the world championships in Nur-Sultan.
The report further quotes Sakshi’s husband Satyawart Kadiyan who himself has been the 2014 CWG silver medallist in 97 kg category as he feels that “gross injustice” was meted out to Sakshi.
“Yeh sahi nahi kiya. SAI ke logo ko samanjhna chahiye thha. Yeh Olympic medalist hai. Commonwealth & Asian Games nahi… It’s not fair. SAI hasn’t done the right thing with her. She is an Olympic medallist, not a CWG or Asian Games medallist,” he observed. Satyawart said a little more respect and faith was expected from the authorities. “Sakshi pe bharosa hona chahiye thha. Badi wrestler hai. Phir se medal dilayegi. (They should have shown some faith in Sakshi. She will again bring medal),” he added.
Meanwhile Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who also had a tough talk with Sakshi after the squad returned from the world championship, this time stands by the Olympic bronze medallist and felt bad at the new development.
“I feel for Sakshi. She was out of form, she is one of our best wrestlers and still has a chance to qualify for the Olympics and prove everyone wrong.” WFI President further added that we will support and back Sakshi to the hilt and expect her to come up with a much improved show in the coming tournaments.
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