Divya Kakran is one of the brightest prospects in Indian wrestling today. The Asian Wrestling Championship silver medallist has managed to make herself among the most notable names in wrestling because of her performance this year. She started the year with a Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and went on to win a silver at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship. At the 2018 Asian Games she was one of the two women to win a medal for India. She did so by defeating Chen Wen-ling by a margin of 10-0. She recently took some time off to answer a few questions.
How does it feel after winning a bronze at the Asian Games?
It feels good. I had a leg injury entering the tournament so no one was expecting any medals. However, I had been training the entire year for this event and the effort I had put in got me this Bronze medal.
You have been talking about improving your game for some time now. What changes do you feel you made before Asian Games?
I have been very focused on changing my game. I feel I have improved and will keep on improving. Since starting senior wrestling career I have made a lot of changes in my training camp and I am sure I will be ready in some time.
You currently have a leg injury. Do you think this will affect your chances to compete at the world championship this year?
I believe in longevity. I have already missed the trials of U23 and Junior Worlds teams because of this injury and I may even miss the Senior World trials. If I compete with this injured leg, there is a chance I might end up doing a heavy damage. I do not want that to happen. So for now, I can’t say if I will be competing at the Worlds.
You in a recent interview said that you have a problem when facing foreign wrestlers. What exactly is the problem?
It is moreover a mental block. I feel that they are better than me and this results in me not playing freely against them. I have defeated better competitors but this mental block affects my game. I want to go and train out of India for some time to learn how to deal with this block.
Does this mental block come because foreign athletes have better facilities?
No. Our country provides the very best resources and gives every facility. My problem is moreover a personal mental block.
Wrestling as a sport is known for its toxic politics. What are your thoughts on the way the sport runs?
I have just started my senior career. I haven’t really faced any such problem so far.
If you could change one thing about the way wrestling is managed in our country what would it be?
I don’t particularly feel that there is any problem in the way wrestling is managed in our country. However, if they could provide support in the initial phase of an athlete’s career then we will get better results. For instance, we support athletes after they win an Olympic medal. We need to support them when they start their career.
You very recently spoke about how you do not get support. You went on talk about how Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal promised help but he didn’t provide any. What exactly is the backstory?
I really don’t want to talk about it now. He has called me for a meeting and will talk to us athletes. For now I do not wish to give in any opinion.
A message for your fans?
Thank you so much for your support. A special message for girls: “Hum agar is duniya main aye hai to kuch kar ke dikhao. Kuch aisa jiss se pure desh ka nam roshan ho. Jite, marte to sab hai kuch anokha kar ke dikhao.” Do something with your lives. Do something that makes your nation proud. Everyone lives and dies, do something special.