NOIDA, July 30: Olympic medal-winning wrestler Sakshi Malik does not endorse the Indian Olympic Association�s call for a boycott of the 2022 Commonwealth Games but at the same time feels that dropping shooting from the event�s roster is �wrong on the athletes.�
The Indian Olympic Association last week proposed boycott of the 2022 Birmingham CWG for dropping shooting from the roster, and sought the government�s approval.
�Let�s not say that we will boycott but I just hope that shooting is included,� Sakshi told PTI here.
At the same time, Sakshi backed the IOA�s aggressive push to get shooting on the Games� roster.
�Whatever decision IOA is planning to take is right because whichever sport is taken out, it is wrong on those athletes. And our shooters bring a lot of medals and I see it as an entire Indian contingent and even if one discipline is affected, it is unfair,� Sakshi said.
On to other issues and Sakshi slammed the Haryana government�s decision to �cut prize money� of the state�s athletes who win medals in international events.
�It is wrong to cut the prize money. We are working hard for the last 15-20 years and regularly winning medals at international events, and it would be very demoralising if our prize money is cut,� she said.
Sakshi made it to the World Championship, to be held in Kazakhstan from September 14-22, after she emerged victorious in the 62kg category at the recent trials. She is now looking to book an Olympic berth with a podium finish in Astana.
�I am aiming to book an Olympic berth with a medal at the World Championship. Top six wrestlers in each weight category qualify for the Olympics, but I am also eyeing a medal,� the Rio Olympics bronze-medallist said.
The 26-year-old said she was certainly aiming to change the colour of her medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games but her first goal was to qualify for the Olympics.
�If you manage to qualify at the World Championship, it gives you almost a year�s time to prepare for the Olympics and plan things well in advance. Although for the last Olympics, I qualified in the final qualifying event and still won a medal.
�In case, I do not qualify for the Olympics at the World Championship then I will prepare for the next qualification event,� Sakshi said.
Sakshi hardly had to break a sweat during the recent trials but she insisted that there is a lot of potential among the younger lot.
�There are a lot of wrestlers coming up across all categories. I would say my experience helped me during the trials. Moreover, it takes time for the youngsters to make a place. But there is certainly a lot of potential.�
Ahead of the World Championship, Indian wrestlers would be competing in Bulgaria from August 7.
�I need to work more on my technique for the Worlds and not that much on power. Fitness is a continuous process.
�Mentally also you have to be very strong. No matter how physically strong you are, until your mind works properly, it is not possible to do well in any sports. And since it is a contact sport, it becomes even more important to be mentally alert.� �PTI