17th August, 2016 (Rio time) was roller coaster ride for Indian athletes at Rio Olympics. While Srikanth Kidambi made fighting exit from the Olympics another medal hope Vinesh Phogat’s terrible knee injury crushed the Indian Olympic medal hope.
Vinesh was shining with her superb 11-0 win over Romania’s Emilia Alina Vuc but a twisted knee ended her 2016 Olympic journey. All the focus shifted on to the next match featuring Sakshi Malik in the 58kg category.
Sakshi made a great appearance though she lost the quarter final to Russia’s Valeria Koblova but she is a fighter. She came back from 5-0 down to Kyrgyzstan wrestler Aisuluu Tynybekova to win the first medal for India in Rio Olympics 2016.
In the first three minutes of the match, play-off bout seemed to be headed in the wrong direction as Aisuluu was leading by huge margin. Though the Indian Wrestler started off late on points, it was the grip made by Sakshi around the waist of Kyrgyzstan wrestler that closed the gap and Sakshi had 4 points in pocket.
Belief of winning came rushing down the spine for Sakshi in next minute when there was tie of 5-5. Wrestler either panic or make mistakes at this point but unknown reserve strength of Sakshi came into play and she was leading the score board with 7-5.
When the buzzer was hit the Kyrgyzstan coach challenged the last point given to Sakshi but the review was waste and earned one point for Sakshi; given against the challenge.
The Indian born wrestler is the first Indian female to win a Olympic medal in wrestling and fourth female to win individual medal at the games. The journey of Sakshi started when she was 11 years old and first hit the mud of Akhara in Rohtak, Haryana.
It’s been a long journey for Sakshi before making her ultimate Olympic dream come true. She won bronze medal in Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in Johannesburg, 2013 from where her medal run starts. In 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow she won silver medal and another bronze medal at Asian Championships in 2015 Doha that made her one of the finest wrestler in world map.