"Sonam Malik confident despite tough Olympic draw" - childhood coach Ajmer Malik

Sonam Malik. ©WrestlingTV
Sonam Malik. ©WrestlingTV

India’s young wrestler Sonam Malik was placed in the lower half of the women’s 62 kg draw on Monday. She will compete against Asian silver medalist Bolortuya Khurekhuu from Mongolia in the first round.

Relatively new to the big stage, she faces a tough draw that will test her character. However, the youngster is keeping a positive approach and plans to take it one step at a time.

“It does not matter what the draw is. Sonam is not taking any pressure. She was even ready to face Yukako Kawai, who is a medal contender,” said her childhood coach Ajmer Malik in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.

Sonam Malik qualified for the Olympics by finishing second at the Asian Qualifiers in April in Almaty. Khurelkhuu, a more experienced of the two, is a 2021 Asian Championship silver medalist.

READ: Sonam Malik Olympics 2021 Wrestling draw analysis, schedule, opponents and possible pathway

Check Out: Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule

Ajmer accepts that the draw is tough but also highlighted that this is what the Olympics is all about.

“It is a tough draw, no doubt. But then it is the Olympics. All this was bound to happen. She is confident despite the draw,” he added.

Sonam Malik came into the Olympics after recovering from a right knee injury had she suffered during the qualifiers. It played spoilsport to her training plans abroad. However, Sonam Malik is fine now and has no pain in the knee.

“I keep asking her if she is feeling any pain in the knee. Need to be very careful with it. But she is mentally strong. Doesn’t tell us anything about her problem. Instead, just talks about how much fun she and Anshu are having fun,” Ajmer said.

Sonam Malik at Olympics

If Sonam Malik manages to cross the first hurdle, she will most likely find 2018 world champion Taybe Mustafa Yusein from Bulgaria in the quarterfinals.

Kawai is the 2019 World Championship bronze winner and if at all she clashes with Sonam, it will be a bottom-half semifinal.

The draw is such that the repechage route may open up for Sonam if she does not go deep on her own.

Edited by Diptanil Roy

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