Rio Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik wants to use the upcoming second edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) as a platform for her future global tournaments like the Asian Championships and the World Championships.
Sakshi (58kg) will represent the revamped Delhi franchise — Delhi Sultans — in the PWL, starting January 2, along with her fiancee Satyawart Kadian (Freestyle 97kg), 2016 Commonwealth Championships gold medallist Bajrang Puniya (Freestyle 65kg), Rio Olympics silver medallist Mariya Stadnik (48kg) and 2013 World Championship gold medallist Alina Makhiyna (75kg) among others.
“I am very excited to be part of the Delhi Sultans in the PWL. The tournament will help me prepare for my upcoming tournaments as I haven’t been in the ring since the Olympics,” Sakshi told reporters during the logo launch of the franchise here on Friday.
Asked about the pressure and expectations from India’s lone Olympic medallist grappler at the Rio Games, Sakshi said: “There will surely be expectations from me but there is certainly no pressure. I have been training hard and keeping myself fit for the tournament. Hope it turns out well and we can take Delhi to the top.”
Defending the below-par cost (at base price of Rs.30 lakh) at which Sakshi was bought by the Delhi franchise, owner Annurag Batra said: “Her category came in the later part of the auctions when most of the teams had almost exhausted their purse. We were expecting her to go for Rs.40 lakh to Rs.45 lakh but we were helpless.”
During the auctions, six teams from Mumbai, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Jaipur were given a purse of Rs 2 crore each to form a nine-member squad that includes five men and four women, five Indian and four international wrestlers.