Mumbai: Ace wrestler Saskshi Malik, bagged a bronze for 2016 Rio Olympics in the women’s 58 kg freestyle event, on Sunday was announced to be India’s flag bearer in the closing ceremony.
Being the first woman wrestler to have acquired a medal in the Olympics, she proved to be the obvious choice for carrying out this task of honour.
In the 58kg wrestling freestyle event round of 16, Sakshi defeated Romania’s Esanu Cherdivara to enter the quarter-final. However, she lost to Russia’s Zholobova Khoblova but with the Russian wrestler entering the final, Sakshi entered the repechage round. In the repechage round, she defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova 8-5 and created history, earning the bronze.
“Sakshi opened the medal account for India in Rio and Sindhu added to it. These young ladies have been an inspiration for all women in India and I am sure many more will follow them,” said chef de mission Rakesh Gupta.
Sakshi is only the fourth Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleshwari, Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal.
Given their list of accomplishments, the decision between Sakshi and PV Sindhu was a tough one. Nevertheless, Sindhu, Sakshi and Aditi Ashok and the pace setter – Dipa Karmakar have made us proud with successfully breaking the shackles of former belief with their outstanding performance.