Sakshi Malik produced a sensational effort to win a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday. The 29-year-old was trailing Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez 0-4 in the final before she pinned her opponenent and turned the tables. 

Also read: CWG: India records historic 1-2 finish in men’s triple jump

Malik was visibly emotional in the medal ceremony. The wrestler, competing in the 62kg category, had last won a medal – a bronze – in CWG 2018. 

After her Rio Olympics bronze win, Malik was struggling to make a mark in the domestic circuit. She was losing in trials and also strongly thought about retirement. 

Also read: Indian boxer Nitu Ghanghas wins gold in women’s minimum weight

But the drought ended in Birmingham. The 29-year-old somehow managed to beat Sonam Malik to top the 62kg trials after losing to the youngster a number of times and made the India squad. 

Talking about her struggle, Sakshi Malik told Zee News,”I was having a tough time as I was losing in India constantly. I could not understand what I was doing wrong but I knew I was doing things right. My motivation was low. I didn’t quit. I am happy I won the gold for my country.”

“Trails was a big obstacle for me as I had lost many a times against junior wrestlers. When I won in trials, it gave me a huge confidence,” she added.

Also Read | CWG 2022: India women’s team beat NZ 2-1 in hockey shootout, win bronze

The Rohtak-based wrestler further said that coming into CWG 2022, she knew that it was her last chance to win a major. 

“When I left India, the only medal I wanted was the gold. I knew this was the last chance as I did not know whether there will be wrestling in the next Commonwealth Games 2022,” she said.

“I had not won gold in CWG (she had won silver and bronze earlier). I wanted to fight till the end to get that gold. Even when I was 0-4 down, it did not bother me. I had won bouts with seconds left in the Olympics, here I had three minutes left,” she said referring to her double leg move that settled the contest.

Also Read | Commonwealth Games 22, Day 10: Indians in the fray

She teared up when the Indian flag went up during the medal ceremony. 

“This is every athlete’s dream that national anthem is played when they play. This is the first time I have stood on the podium and national anthem has been played.Olympics ke baad kabhi flag hath mein lene ka mauka hi nahi mila. It was wonderful to hold the national flag, sing the anthem,” she said.