Wrestler Sakshi Malik scripted history by winning bronze in the women’s 55kg freestyle event, the first for India in the Games. Beating Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova in the match for third-place, she has become the first-ever Indian woman to win an Olympic medal.
Despite trailing by 5 points in the match, Malik fought back to equal the score 5-5, before overpowering her opponent to win 8-5. On winning the bronze, the 23-year-old said, “I was all along confident. I always felt I would win. I did not back down and kept pushing. This is historic for Indian women wrestlers. This is the result of over ten years of hard work. I feel proud and special that I could get this medal for India.”
Separately, Vinesh Phogat sustained a tendon tear during her bout against Chinese wrestler Sun Yanan in the quarter-finals of the women’s freestyle 48kg category. She is expected to recover in two weeks. Phogat had given India a ray of hope, in terms of bagging a medal, before the unfortunate event.
On the golf front, teen golfer Aditi Ashok tied in the 7th position after the first round of the women’s individual event. She will participate in the second round on Thursday.
Srikanth Kidambi bowed out of the quarter-finals of the men’s singles badminton event on Wednesday, going down fighting to defending champion Lin Dan, from China. From losing the first set 21-6, to giving the World No 3 one of the best fights of his life, Kidambi showed pure class. The final score was 6-21, 21-11, 18-21.
Last, from athletics, Tintu Lukka failed to qualify for the women’s 800 metre semi-finals, finishing sixth in her heat.
In good news for all Indian Rio participants, goodwill ambassador Salman Khan has announced that he will give each athlete a cheque of ₹1,01,000.
On August 18, shuttler PV Sindhu will play the women’s semi-finals. Wrestler Babita Kumari will participate in the women’s freestyle 53kgs.