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Day 12 of the Rio Olympics 2016 is quite memorable as India finally ended its wait for medal, with wrestler Sakshi Malik winning the bronze in the women’s 58kg category, after a gritty performance.
Sakshi’s historic medal gave India much to delight a day that saw fellow wrestler Vinesh Phogat leaving the field injured and Kidambi Srikanth lose to Lin Dan in the quarters.
A small 23-year-old girl from Mokhra village near Rohtak in Haryana touched the heights of a podium finish in Rio, as Sakshi Malik won the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle wrestling 58kg category with a spirited comeback victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan. She overturned a 0-5 deficit in a hectic second round to earn an 8-5 victory in the medal bout.
Sakshi fought five tough battles against equally determined opponents in a single day before securing the place at the podium. Though she lost in quarterfinal but got a fresh air for life when her Russian conqueror reached the final as a consequence allowed Sakshi to compete in the repechage round.
She jumped on the mat with a heart warming smile before being hoisted by her coach Kuldeep Singh with the Indian tri-colour draped around her.
It is the 5th bronze in wrestling for India in its long Olympic history stretching back to 1952 Helsinki Games when Kashaba Jadhav became its first individual medalist. She is also the fourth female Olympic medalist from India, joining the ranks of weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London).
Sakshi said that it’s the fruit of her persistent hard work in the last 12 years. Geeta, whom she refers as her elder sister and senior qualified for the first time in London. She added that she could never think that she would become the first woman wrestler from India to bag an Olympic medal in wrestling.
Sakshi’s triumph was like a pain reliever, as it came after Vinesh Phogat was forced out of the 48kg competition due to an unfortunate knee injury suffered during her quarterfinal bout against Chinese rival Sun Yanan. She had to be stretchered off the arena and the MRI scan confirmed a knee ligament tear.CRB Tech WordPress
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