Having won the gold last year as well, it was a cakewalk for Ritu after beating Poonam of Delhi 4-0. Earlier this year, Ritu finished fifth in the Junior International World Championship held in Budapest, Hungary.
Having been encouraged by her brother-in-law to take up wrestling, Ritu has won the silver in the sub-junior international championship held in Pune. With brother Sushil Kumar already in the national-level wrestling, Ritu says that she wants to get to the senior nationals soon, while winning an Olympic medal is her dream.
Despite Haryana being notorious for female infanticide, Ritu says she has been encouraged by her parents to take part in wrestling. She also participated in the sub-juniors championships held in Thailand and has visited Russia for a 15-day training camp.
All of 17 years, Ritu has won the silver medal in the the junior nationals. She later went on to win the silver in the sub-junior international championship, held in Pune.
Ritu who likes dancing when not taking grounding competitors has also won gold at the sub-junior nationals twice and is a one-time bronze medallist. Ritu is also gold medallist at the school nationals.
Women rule the roost
Women wrestlers from Bhiwani, Haryana, ruled the roost in the All India Invitational Wrestling Tournament held in the city. Bhiwani women wrestlers, Poonam won the 48 kg category, Pooja won the 51 kg category, Lalitha won the 55 kg category, Ritu Malik won the 67 kg category and Pooja Dhanda won the 72 kg category. Shwetha of Madhya Pradesh who won the 59 kg category and Kamlesh of Delhi 63 kg category were the exceptions.