“I never thought I would become
the first woman wrestler from India to bag an Olympic medal in wrestling.
I hope the remaining wrestler will also do well.”
It is history now that the 23-year-old Sakshi Malik from Rohtak, Haryana, became only the fourth Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal in a dramatic win .After falling behind 0-5 in the do-or die bout on day 12 of Rio Games 2016 she clinching the bronze in the 58kg category, pulling off a sensational 8-5 victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova .
It was a bronze medal but first medal for India in Rio 2016 Olympic .The way she bounces back to success will definitely inspiring story for many of us.
“This is the result of over 12 years of hard work.
I feel proud and special that I could get this medal for India.”
-Sakshi said with tears of joy in her eyes.
Sakshi, who qualified through second Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul, battled social biases and sexism to learn wrestling. She took up the sport when she was just nine years old.
“It was an agonising two-three hours wait for me. Congratulations to my country mates.
I could live up to their expectation”
Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London) were the only other women players from India to have won a medal in Olympics.
Here is her story how she bounces back and brought cheers to Indian contingent after 11 days without medal:
Tynybekova grabbed Sakshi’s leg and quickly earned two points before adding one more for the Indian’s passivity.
She repeated her move and successfully bagged two more points to lead 5-0 at the break.
Sakshi could open the scoring only in the second period and got two points after throwing her rival down and out of the mat. She then managed to earn two points again with a similar move to bring down the margin to 4-5.
Thereafter, it was no looking back for the Indian girl and she took the opponent down to level the scores 5-5. But she did not stop there and gained three more points by pinning down the Kyrgyzstan wrestler in the dying moments of the match.
She had earlier stormed into the bronze medal play-off round with a dominating performance, where she thrashed Purevdorjiin Orkhon of Mongolia 12-3.
Both the wrestlers matched each other in the first period and the scores were 2-2 at the break.
But Sakshi gave a more aggressive account of herself in the second period, pinning down her opponent from time to time, besides flipping her over for crucial points.
Starting with a double-leg take down to earn two points, she added two more crucial points to her kitty to lead 6-3 with a minute left.
“I never gave up till the end;
I knew I would win if I lasted till six minutes.
In last round, I had to give my maximum, I had the self-belief.”
– Sakshi said on her trailing 0-5.
Her milestone to Rio 2016 Olympic:
2010: By the age of 18, she had tasted victory at junior-level competitions. She won a Bronze at the 2010 Junior World Championships in the 59-kg category.
2014: She first came to the international limelight after taking home the Gold at the Dave Schultz International Wrestling Tournament (60-kg).
July-August 2014: Her professional international career began with a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, courtesy two 4-0 bouts.
September 2014: She crashed out in the Quarterfinal at the World Wrestling Championships in Tashkent. But not before beating her Senegalese opponent 4-1 in the Round of 16.
May 2015: Then on to the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha, where she won the Bronze.
Following that, Sakshi booked her seat on the flight to Rio by winning Bronze in the Summer Olympics Qualifiers, defeating Chinese Lan Zhang in the semi-final, at Istanbul.
July 2016: She won 60-kg Bronze at the Spanish Grand Prix.
On that victory, she confidently said:
“My silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games is my personal favourite. Although I displayed some aggressive wrestling at the 2015 Asian Championships and clinched a bronze, my bout at Glasgow was more challenging.”
Lastly I want to say,
“You believe this is a game,
and you may be right .
But if you think you can play it better than me,
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