Sakshi Malik wins India’s first bronze at Rio Olympics 2016

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Sakshi Malik wins India’s first bronze at Rio Olympics 2016

India’s Sakshi Malik has won a bronze medal in the wrestling 58kg category after beating Aisuluu Tynybekova 8-5 in the bronze medal bout.

2016 Rio Olympics - Wrestling - Final - Women's Freestyle 58 kg Bronze - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/08/2016. Sakshi Malik (IND) of India celebrates winning the bronze medal. REUTERS/Toru Hanai FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
In a thrilling contest, Sakshi fought back from 0-5 down to seal the bout 8-5 in her favour.

Sakshi is only fourth Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleshwari, Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal.

And the wait is finally over Sakshi Malik has broken the long standing drought in Rio Olympics.

The Haryana born girl ethched her name in history by claiming the 58 kg freestyle repechage round to bag the Bronze medal.

Sakshi defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova 8-5 in the bronze-medal play-off. The 23-year-old Commonwealth Games silver-medalist made a sensational comeback after being down 0-5 at the halfway point.

Kyrgyzstan’s wrestler dominated the first period, picking up her first point after Malik was penalised for passivity and then going 5-0 up after two take-downs.

But the 23-year-old from Haryana came into her own right at the very end, pulling off her own take-downs as she picked up four vital points and then levelled the scores to make it 5-5.

Then in the last ten seconds, she added two extra points to win a historic bronze for India with an extra point added to her tally after her opponent made a failed challenge.

Earlier, Sakshi entered the medal-round after winning her Repechage round 2 comfortably against Mongolia’s Orkhon Purevdorj.

Earlier, in the pre-quarters, Sakshi eked out a narrow 5-5 win over Mariana Cherdivara Esanu of Republic of Moldova.

But then she lost to Russia’s Valeria Zholobova Koblova 2-9 in the quarterfinals.

Sakshi then gets another chance in the repechage rounds, thanks to Koblova’s progress through to the final.

Apart from winning India’s first medal at these Olympics, Malik also became the first Indian women wrestler to win an Olympic medal.