Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik won her first international gold medal in almost five years at the Bolat Turlykhanov Cup – a UWW Ranking Series event – in Almaty on Friday.
India’s Mansi and Divya Kakran too finished at the top of the podium in their respective weight categories.
Malik missed qualification for the Tokyo Games but put in an impressive performance on Friday. She began with a win by technical superiority against Kazakhstan’s Irina Kuznetsova and followed that up with a 9-3 win over Uzbekistan’s Rushana Abdirasulova.
As Mongolia’s Tserenchimed Sukhee forfeited her semifinal, Sakshi entered the final, where she pinned Kuznetsova while leading 7-4, beating the home wrestler for a second time in the day.
The last time she won a gold was at the 2017 Commonwealth Championship even as she won two bronze medals at the Asian Championships in 2020 and 2022.
Meanwhile, Mansi (57kg) won her final bout 3-0 against Kazakshtan’s Emma Tissina. Divya won two of her bouts by fall – against Mongolia’s Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan and Kazakhstan’s Albina Kairgeldinova – but lost the final bout 10-14 to Mongolia’s Bolortungalag Zorigt in the four-wrestler 68kg category.
Zorigt also finished with two wins and a defeat (against Delgermaa) but since Divya had more convincing results, she was declared the winner.
India now have won four medals with Greco Roman wrestler Neeraj winning a bronze in 63kg category on Thursday.