Woman Wrestler Sakshi Malik Brings Cheers To India At Rio 2016 With Bronze

Finally, there is something for India to cheer about. Just when it appeared that the 1.2 billion plus strong country would return empty handed from the world’s greatest sporting stage, 23-year-old wrestler Sakshi Malik clinched the Bronze medal at Rio Olympics 2016 bringing cheers to the nation.

Sakshi’s win not only gives India its first medal at the Olympics but also showcases where India’s strength in sports lies.

Over the past few years, India’s wrestlers have been bringing laurels for the country and Sakshi added another brick to the tower.




With her win, Sakshi becomes only the fourth Indian woman to win an Olympics medal. The other three being weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and badminton player Saina Nehwal (2012, London).


Rohtak’s Sakshi defeated Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan 8-5 in the 58 kg category in a bout that she was losing.



What makes her win sensational is that she came 0-5 behind to win the bout and the medal. The Kyrgyz wrestler was unhappy with the decision and refused to shake hands with Sakshi. She had to be dragged to the centre of the arena by the referee.

It was a study in contrast at venue as the crowd cheered for Sakshi when her name was announced as the winner but booed at the mention of the Kyrgyzstani wrestler.

Back home in India, the joy of Sakshi’s family knew no bounds.


“I have stood up to the hopes of the country for the first medal. I was confident that I can win in the end even being down. The last two hours were the most difficult for me thinking whether the medal will come or not,” she said in her initial comments soon after winning.

“This is the first time that a medal has come for women. It’s a success of my 12 years of dedication. My hard work has succeeded,” Sakshi said.

Earlier, Sakshi had crashed out of contention for the gold medal after a 2-9 loss to Russia’s Valeria Koblova in the quarter-finals.

Valeria went on winning the Silver while Japanese wrestling legend Kaori Icho won the Gold.

But Sakshi did everything in her power in the Repechage Round 2 by thrashing Orkhon Purevdorj of Mongolia 12-3 and move to her match with the Kyrgyz wrestler.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Sakshi on her win.


And so did the entire country:


Even Shobha De, who drew ire for her criticism of Indian Olympic sportspersons.


Sakshi expressed her thanks to the nation via Facebook:


Sakshi 2

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