Rio de Janeiro, Aug 18: India's Sakshi Malik wrestled her way into history books as she claimed a bronze medal at Rio Olympics 2016 here on Wednesday (August 17).
23-year-old Sakshi became the first Indian female wrestler to win a medal at Olympics.
The Haryana girl also ended India's wait for a medal in Rio after 12 days. She defeated Kyrgysztan's Aisuluu Tynybekova in bronze medal play-off match in Freestlye 58kg category. Sakshi won with a score of 8-5. (12 years of work work has paid off: Sakshi)
At exactly 2.51 AM IST (August 18 Thursday) (6.21 PM Brazil time), Sakshi completed her bout to script history. (Indians salute 'Supergirl' Sakshi on Twitter)
Overall, Sakshi is only the 4th Indian woman to win an Olympic medal, joining Karnam Malleswari (Bronze in weightlifting in Sydney 2000), Mary Kom (Bronze in boxing in London 2012) and Saina Nehwal (Bronze in badminton in London 2012). (Sakshi's dad speaks)
For India this was the 5th medal in wrestling in Olympics. KD Jadhav (Bronze in 1952 Helsinki), Sushil Kumar (Brone in Beijing 2008, Silver in London 2012), Yogeshwar Dutt (Bronze in London 2012) had won previously. (Sehwag's brest tribute for Sakshi)
What did Sakshi say after winning bronze?
"Meri 12 saal ki tapasya rang layi (It's the result of my 12 years' fight for day and night). Geeta (Phogat) didi, my senior had qualified for the first time in London (2012).
"I never thought I would become the first woman wrestler from India to bag an Olympic medal in wrestling. I hope the remaining wrestlers will also do well."
Here is a brief profile of Sakshi
# Born - September 3, 1992. Mokhra village, Rohtak (Haryana)
# Height - 5 feet 3 inches
# Freestyle wrestling
# Started career in 2002
# This year made her Olympics debut in Brazil
# She qualified for Rio 2016 at at Olympic World qualifying tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, in May this year. She was the second female wrestler after Vinesh Phogat to make the cut for Rio
# Olympics 2016 Bronze
# Silver in Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014
# Bronze at Incheon Asian Games 2014
# Bronze in Asian Championships 2015 in Doha, Qatar
# Represented India at Wrestling World Championship in Tashkent in 2014
# Sakshi was first coached by Ishwar Dahiya. Now Kuldeep Singh, who is with Sakshi at Rio Games
# According to "PTI" news agency, Sakshi tried playing kabaddi, cricket but wrestling became her favourite
# Sakshi's elder brother is named after cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar
# Favourite food - Aloo Parantha and Kadhi Chawal
# She does 500 sit-ups as part of her daily routine
# Sakshi's grandfather was a wrestler and she was inspired by him, according to here father Subir Malik
# Sakshi's mother Sudesh Malik said many told them not to put her child into wrestling as she was a girl but they supported her in the sport
"Sakshi aims for the legs from the beginning. That is the strong part of her game. She won't wait for the opponent to attack. If she stays focused and trains harder, she will win more medals for India. "We always had the confidence in Sakshi. She is a confident wrestler and is best in the category. Past results show that," Ishwar had told "Indian Express" in May this year.