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Numerology, psychology sessions behind ‘Sakshee’s’ success

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Wrestler Sakshi Malik doesn’t need an introduction. Even before she had become India’s first female wrestler to win an Olympic medal in 2016, the Haryana wrestler had clinched 58kg silver at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games (CWG). 

But the last two years had been difficult for Sakshi. She had lost her pet weight category (62kg) to youngster Sonam Malik after losing four consecutive bouts in selection trials against her. The losses also meant she missed the Tokyo flight and an opportunity to win two Olympic medals.

Despite her age — she will turn 30 next month — she, though felt physically fit but was not in a good mental space. It was reflected in her game as she was losing bouts despite training hard and fighting with grit on the mat. That’s when she approached a psychologist and did a spelling correction in her name after being advised by a numerologist. The handle spells her name as ‘Sakshee Maikkh’.

Obviously, she was diligently working on her skills in that period but the extra mile she went to find her mojo back seemed to have paid rich dividends. She not only reclaimed her place in the national squad for the 2022 Birmingham CWG by beating her nemesis Sonam but also won her third consecutive medal at the Coventry Arena on Friday, her maiden CWG gold. In 2018, she had 62kg bronze in Gold Coast.

“When you have won so many laurels for the country, there is bound to be some pressure of expectations. Sakshi was also feeling it and that was perhaps affecting her game,” Satyawart Kadian, her husband and a CWG medallist, told this daily.  

Earlier in the day, she bulldozed her way into the final without facing any resistance from her two opponents. She pinned England’s Kelsey Barnes in the quarterfinal before outpowering Berthe Emilienne Etane Ngolle from Cameroon by technical superiority in the semifinal.

Canada’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez though led 4-0 against Sakshi in the first period of the final. However, the Indian wrestler made a comeback to effect a takedown to narrow the lead to 2-4 before pinning her opponent to win her first gold at the quadrennial event.

“When an athlete passes through such a bad phase, he/she is ready to accept every advice that comes his/her way. Sakshi is no different. One such piece of advice was given by a numerologist and she made a correction to the spelling of her name, which is there on Twitter,” added Kadian.

The wrestler too had admitted that sessions with the psychologist helped her after the trials. “The sessions with psychologist proved to be immensely helpful as I reclaimed my place in the 62kg,” she had told this daily. Signs were there ever since she cleared the first hurdle at the selection trials in SAI Centre, Lucknow.

After regaining her place, she went on to clinch gold at the Ranking Series (Bolat Turlykhanov Cup) in Almaty, Kazakhstan in June. The gold was also her first in an international event since December 2017 when she had finished on top of the podium at the Commonwealth Championship. Fittingly, she made it two gold in as many months in Birmingham.

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