List of Top 10 Famous Female Wrestlers of India

Wrestling is a much-revered sport in India, but it took a while for women to reach the same heights as men. And now, Indian female wrestlers bring glory to the nation at every championship. Read on to learn about the top 10 famous Indian female wrestlers.
Top 10 Famous Female Wrestlers of India
Top 10 Famous Female Wrestlers of India

Wrestling is one of the most beloved sports in India, and it continues to grow more and more popular by the day. India’s highest-grossing movie, Dangal, told the tale of the celebrated Phogat family of wrestlers, whose patriarch, Mahavir Singh Phogat, went against societal norms and trained his daughters to become wrestlers.

Indian female wrestlers are now even outperforming men at the international level. Women continue to take up wrestling as a sport, and it’s only a matter of time before one of India’s female wrestlers wins an Olympic gold medal. On that note, we bring you this list of the top 10 famous female wrestlers in India.

Related: List of Top 10 Famous Indian Wrestlers

List of Top 10 Famous Female Wrestlers of India

1. Geeta Phogat

Geeta Phogat

Image Source: Twitter

Geeta Phogat is one of India’s greatest female wrestlers and ushered in a new era for women’s wrestling. Phogat and her younger sister Babita used to get into fights in childhood. Their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler himself, saw their potential and trained them in the art of pehlwani, or Indian wrestling. Girls weren’t allowed to wrestle at the time and the ones who did proved no match for Geeta’s abilities. She had to resort to wrestling with boys who were bigger and older than her to get ahead. Yet, Geeta Phogat overcame all odds to reach the 2010 Commonwealth Games and won India’s first-ever gold medal in wrestling at the tournament.

2. Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat

Image Source: Twitter

Vinesh Phogat is an Indian wrestler who hails from the prominent Phogat family of wrestlers. A native of Haryana, Vinesh began wrestling at an early age under the tutelage of Mahavir Singh Phogat, her uncle. Vinesh is one of the most promising female wrestlers in India and was poised to win the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics but bowed out in the quarterfinals due to a gnarly knee injury. However, Vinesh is on the rise again and is the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in both Commonwealth and Asian games.

3. Anshu Malik

Anshu Malik

Image Source: The Indian Express

Anshu Malik is a young Indian wrestler from Haryana who is touted as one of the best current wrestlers in the country. At just 21 years old, Anshu Malik has won laurels worldwide for her fierce wrestling skills. She became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the World Championships at the 2021 Oslo World Wrestling Championship.

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4. Alka Tomar

Alka Tomar

Image Source: Wrestling TV

Alka Tomar is one of India’s most famous wrestlers and competed in the same era as Geeta Phogat. Alka was born in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, and represented India at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, winning bronze and gold medals in the events, respectively. She is one of the pioneers of Indian women’s wrestling and was the first Indian wrestler to win a world championship medal. Alka retired in 2011 to serve as a wrestling coach.

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5. Babita Kumari

Babita Kumari

Image Source: Olympics.com

Babita Kumari is another famous female wrestler from India and a member of the Phogat family. She, along with her elder sister, Geeta, was one of the first Indian women to represent and win at the international level. Babita won the gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Olympics in the 55 kg weight category. Babita also entered politics in 2019 by joining the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and is known for her outspoken, right-wing opinions.

6. Nisha Dahiya

Nisha Dahiya

Image Source: Wrestling TV

Nisha Dahiya is a budding Indian wrestler who is quickly growing to be the most promising female wrestler of the future. Nisha Dahiya, a young athlete from Haryana, won the bronze medal at the U23 World Championships in 2021. She has been proclaimed the future of women's wrestling by many prominent wrestlers.

7. Ritu Phogat

Ritu Phogat

Image Source: ESPN

Ritu Phogat is the younger sister of Geeta and Babita Phogat and showed immense potential in wrestling. Her father Mahavir Singh Phogat claimed that she was the best pure wrestler in the family. However, wrestling was not in Ritu’s destiny as it seems. Ritu transitioned to mixed martial arts and competes in the ONE Championship, where she uses her masterful wrestling to dominate opponents on the ground.

8. Divya Kakran

Divya Kakran

Image Source: The Bridge

Divya Kakran is an Indian wrestler from the state of Uttar Pradesh. She competes in the 68 kg weight category and has won several national and international medals in wrestling. Divya started wrestling at the age of eight, inspired by her father and brother. She overcame the poor financial conditions of her family and became a successful wrestler, even defeating Geeta Phogat in the Bharat Kesari wrestling event. Divya won a bronze medal at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games and the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

9. Geetika Jakhar

Geetika Jakhar

Image Source: Alchetron

Geetika Jakhar is another famous wrestler from Haryana and a pioneer of women’s wrestling in India. Geetika comes from a family of sportspeople and turned to wrestling as a teenager. She was one of India’s youngest and earliest female wrestlers and eventually became a legend of the sport. Geetika won a silver medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

10. Sakshi Malik 

Sakshi Malik

Image Source: India Today

Sakshi Malik created history in 2016 when she won the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Sakshi became the first woman from India to win an Olympic medal in wrestling. Also a Haryana native, Sakhi Malik began wrestling at the age of 12 and competed in the same weight category as Geeta Phogat. Sakshi went to the 2016 Olympics in place of an injured Geeta and proved her naysayers wrong. Sakshi Malik is currently employed with the Indian Railways and won the gold medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Malik is poised to bring home the Olympic gold in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Sr. No

Wrestler

Top Achievement

1

Geeta Phogat

Gold Medal- 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games

2

Vinesh Phogat

Gold -  2018 Jakarta Asian Games

Gold - Commonwealth Games (2014 Glasgow, 2018 Gold Coast, 2022 Birmingham)

3

Anshu Malik

Silver - 2021 Oslo World Wrestling Championships

4

Alka Tomar

Gold - 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010

5

Babita Kumari

Gold Medal - Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014

6

Nisha Dahiya

Bronze - 2021 Belgrade World U23 Championships

7

Ritu Phogat

Gold - 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship

8

Divya Kakran

Bronze - 2018 Jakarta Asian Games

Bronze - 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

9

Geetika Jakhar

Silver - Doha Asian Games 2006

Silver - Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014

10

Sakshi Malik

Bronze - 2016 Rio Olympics

Gold - 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games

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FAQ

Who is the best female wrestler of India?

Geeta Phogat is often considered the best female wrestler of India due to the adversities she overcame and her achievements. Phogat won India’s first women’s wrestling gold medal at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games. However, Alka Tomar won the gold at the same event as well. And Sakshi Malik won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. So, it’s hard to say who is the best female wrestler of India, but Geeta Phogat definitely fits the bill.

Who is Vinesh Phogat?

Vinesh Phogat is an Indian wrestler belonging to the famed Phogat family of Haryana. Vinesh, like her sisters Geeta and Babita, was trained by her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, to become a wrestler. She represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympics but seriously injured herself in the quarterfinals. However, Vinesh orchestrated a historic comeback and won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, becoming the first Indian female wrestler to do so.
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