New Delhi: Sakshi Malik and Bhaichung represent two totally different sports. Wrestler Sakshi figures in Individual sport while footballer Bhutia represent team sport but both have given their best to win laurels to the country.
Sakshi is first woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal for India and the other being one of the greatest footballer country has ever produced.
The stars appeared on the final two episodes of “The A-Game”, to share anecdotes and stories from their greatest triumphs in their respective careers. “The A-Game”, hosted by Olympic Silver medallist PV Sindhu, conceptualized and produced by sports marketing firm Baseline Ventures and presented by Visa. In the fourth episode of “The A-Game”, Sakshi Malik talked about an important training camp abroad which helped her immensely to win an Olympic medal.
“Before the Rio Olympics, we had training camps abroad wherein we could train with partners from different countries. I had wrestling matches against World and Olympic medallists,” said the 28-year old wrestler. ‘I learned a lot of techniques and gained a lot of experience. So, the three-month training period abroad was very important for me. The training camp gave me a lot of exposure and it helped me immensely to win an Olympic medal”.
A chance to win an Olympic medal was slipping away from Malik when she was trailing 0-5 against Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the repecharge medal playoff at Rio, but the wrestler fought back and won the bout 8-5. She recalled “I was down 0-5, but I knew that I had a lot of time to make a comeback and I had made comebacks in my previous matches. My coach Kuldeep sir was telling me to play my own game, play an attacking wrestling game. When I started playing aggressively, I started to win points. I didn’t give up until the last second and gave my 100 percent to win the match and the Olympic medal”.
The Indian football team made history in 2008 when they booked a place in the AFC Asian Cup finals for the first time in 27 years. Bhaichung Bhutia was the captain of the team which defeated Tajikistan in the final of the AFC Challenge Cup. In the fifth episode of the “A-Game”, Bhutia talked about being part of the historic moment for Indian football.
“We knew that Tajikistan was the best team in the tournament and we had played out a draw in the league matches. But, sometimes, you have those matches where, whatever you do, it goes right. The final was one of those matches. Our first three shots were all goals. That gave us a lot of confidence and it obviously got the match under our control.”
Bhutia, who was among the scorers in the final. also recalled the pep talk he gave to the team before the final, “My advice to the boys was that we have been preparing for this tournament for one year and we can’t let it slip with just one game remaining so we need to make sure that we give our best to win this tournament and get into the Asia Cup.”