ALMATY, Jun 3: Sakshi Malik’s struggles were nowhere to be seen as a fearless and aggressive Rio Olympics bronze medallist grabbed her first international gold medal in almost five years at the UWW Ranking Series event here on Friday.
India’s Mansi (57kg) and Divya Kakran (68kg) too earned top of the podium finishes. Another Indian, Pooja won a bronze medal in 76kg.
But the day belonged to Sakshi, who has been struggling till the recent CWG trials.
She was consistently losing to young Sonam Malik in the 62kg category and even missed qualification for the Tokyo Games but looked completely transformed on Friday as she fought her bouts with tremendous confidence.
She began with a win by technical superiority against Kazakhstan’s Irina Kuznetsova and followed that up with another big 9-3 win over Uzbekistan’s Rushana Abdirasulova.
As Mongolia’s Tserenchimed Sukhee forfeited her semifinal,…