Sakshi Malik clinches Bronze medal; opens medal tally for India
Day 12 of Olympics was turning out to be yet another day of heartbreak’s for India. Srikanth Kidambi who had raised hopes of a medal after his super performance in the pre-quarterfinal played one of his finest matches against 2 time badminton Olympic Gold medal winner -Lin Dan. But as was the case with most of the Indian athletes at this Olympics, lady luck turned away from the Indian ace as he came agonizingly close to a great upset.
Vinesh Phogat’s campaign ends in tears
Wrestling, Archery and Shooting were India’s best bet of a medal at the Rio Olympics 2016 and when the athletes in the later two categories could not open the medal tally account for India, the onus fell on the wrestlers. Vinesh Phogat kicked things off with a bang an 11-0 landslide win in her opening match and when it was looking like a podium finish was a sure shot for the 21 year old, tragedy struck. In her quarter final match her leg got into a twisted at an abnormal angle after which she was stretchered out. The injury meant the medal hopes for Vinesh and the nation ended in tears.
Sakshi Malik’s bronze medal worth its weight in gold
For those of you who were unable to witness Sakshi Malik in action you should search for the videos on the net because when you see how 23 year old overcame the odds after being down several points in almost her every match her feat becomes all the more praise worthy. After scoring come-from-behind wins in her earlier rounds Sakshi lost her match against Russia’s Valeria Koblova. Koblova went on to reach the finals of the 58 kg category giving Sakshi a hope for bronze in the repechage.
Trailing 0-5 down at the end of the first period it seemed ‘so near yet so far’ story for India at the Rio Olympics was unfurling for the umpteenth time. However the girl from Rohtak was determined to not let her efforts go in vain as she staged one of the greatest comebacks of her career first to draw level at 5 all and then gain 2 more crucial points with just 10 seconds left on the timer to give India its first medal at the Rio Olympics. An unsuccessful attempt from her opponent meant the final score line read 8-5 in favor of Sakshi Malik.