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For us, it’s Holi today: Sonam’s father on her Olympic qualification
In the first two 62kg bouts, Sonam had contrasting wins
The Malik family in Madina village, Sonipat spent a sleepless night ahead of teenager Sonam Malik’s bouts in the Asian Olympic Qualifier wrestling in Tashkent on Saturday.
Sonam’s father Rajinder Malik and her coach Ajmer Malik woke up early on Saturday and offered prayers after finishing their morning work. They then kept an eye on the clock as Sonam’s bout was due to start soon.
Rajinder, wife Meena and a few of their neighbours watched the bout at home while Ajmer and his trainees were glued to their mobile screens on the roof of the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Sports Complex, a few yards away from Sonam’s house.
In the first two 62kg bouts, Sonam had contrasting wins, against Chinese Jia Long (5-2) and Taipei’s Hsin Ping Pai (11-0). They were really excited as the double world cadet championships gold medalist and national champion took on Kazak rival Ayaulym Kassymova in the semi-final.
“I couldn’t resist joining Ajmer at his academy as I wanted to celebrate Sonam’s success with my childhood friend who has played a great role in my daughter’s achievement. It was he (Ajmer) who took the coaching assignment of Sonam on my request and we both have been living with the mission of Sonam’s entry into Olympics,” an emotional Rajinder said.
“It’s just another step of Sonam towards the biggest success and we hope our guriya will surely bring success for India at the Tokyo Games,” he said. “It’s a dream come true for us, we spent the entire Friday night praying to God for Sonam’s success. For us, it’s Holi today.”