Olympics 2016: Female wrestler Sakshi Malik ends India’s medal drought in Rio

Sakshi Malik, a female wrestler from India’s Haryana state, ended the country’s medal drought on the 12th day of Summer Olympics 2016 in Brazil’s Rio de Jaeiro city. The Indian wrestler won a Bronze medal in 58kg freestyle category after defeating Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan 8-5 in a fight on Wednesday.
23 year old Sakshi from Rohtak has created history by becoming the first Indian wrestler and only the fourth female athlete from India to have won a medal at Olympics after shuttler Saina Nehwal, boxer Mary Kom and weightlifter Karnam Malleswari.
After the first period, the Commonwealth Games silver-medalist, who was 0-5 down, made a dramatic come back to win the fight against Tynybekova with a take down in the final seconds of the second period.
Earlier, Sakshi was defeated in the quarter final by Russia’s Valeriia Koblova 2-9 which could have ended her dream of winning a medal for the country. However, she got a second chance in repechage round after Koblova reached the final.
Sakshi Malik played Mongolian wrestler Orkhon Purevdorj in the repechage round 1. Both scored 2-2 but when only a minute was left in the game, Sakshi defeated Orkhon by 12-3 to advance ahead. In repechage round 2 she again defeated Orkhon for a place in the bronze medal play-off.
Defying all odds, Sakshi became the first female wrestler from India to have won a medal in Olympics. Coming from Rohtak district of the north Indian state, Sakshi took up wrestling at the age of 9 years. She won a silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet congratulated Sakshi for winning a medal for the country and called her a ‘daughter of India’. Sachin Tendular, Amir Khan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and other famous personalities also congratulated the female wrestler on her success in Olympics.

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