New Delhi, April 11:
Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and Asia No. 1 Sandeep Tomar have entered the top 10 in their respective categories in the world rankings of the United World Wrestling (UWW).
Malik, who took bronze in the women’s 58 kg category at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is placed fifth in world rankings while Tomar holds the seventh place in men’s 57kg freestyle division.
A total of 24 international freestyle wrestlers including 13 female athletes from the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) are placed in the top 10 of their respective weight categories in the latest rankings released by the sport’s global governing body.
Reigning Olympic and European champion Vladimer Khinchegashvili (57kg) of Georgia, world champion Magomed Kurbanaliev (70 kg) of Russia and Olympic champion Erica Wiebe (women’s 75kg) of Canada are at the top spot in their respective categories.
Azerbaijan grapplers Togrul Asgarov (65kg), Jabrayil Hasanov (74kg) and Mariya Stadnik (women’s 48kg) are placed second in their respective weight divisions along with Mariya Mamashuk (women’s 63kg) of Belarus.
Stadnik, the reigning European champion and silver medallist at the 2016 Olympics, was the highest paid female grappler at the last edition of the PWL.
The Swedish pair of Sofia Mattsson (women’s 53kg) and Jenny Fransson (women’s 69 kg) and Marwa Amri (women’s 58 kg) of Tunisia have held on to the third spot in their respective categories.
“Both Sakshi and Sandeep are doing well in their weight categories but they will work hard to attain higher ranking,” said Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brijbhushan Sharan Singh.
“While Sakshi couldn’t participate in the Asian Championship because of her wedding, Sandeep is striving hard to battle in the next championship. Our main focus is also on the junior categories who have a potential to bag the upcoming rankings,” he added.