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Sakshi Malik creates history: PM Modi congratulates Rio bronze medallist

india Updated: Aug 18, 2016 10:48 IST
Rio Olympics

Sakshi Malik poses with her bronze medal for the women's wrestling freestyle 58-kg competition during the medals ceremony at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated Haryana freestyle wrestler Sakshi Malik, who clinched bronze to give India its first medal at the ongoing Olympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

“Sakshi Malik creates history! Congratulations to her for the Bronze. The entire nation is rejoicing. On this very auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan, Sakshi Malik, a daughter of India, wins a Bronze & makes all of us very proud,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee in a tweet said, “Hearty Congratulations to Sakshi Malik for winning a medal in women’s wrestling and doing India proud.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the 23-year-old wrestler will inspire millions in India.

Malik on Wednesday brought an end to India’s long wait for a medal at the ongoing Rio Olympics, clinching bronze in the Women’s Freestyle 58kg category with a spirited comeback victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan.

Although the 23-year-old was trailing 0-5 against her Kyrgyzstani opponent after the first period, she bounced back in style to hand India its fourth bronze medal in wrestling in the Olympic history.

Prior to this, Malik won her Repechage round 2 bout by beating Mongolia’s Purevdorj Orkhon 12-3 to advance to the bronze-medal match.

Read | This is the result of over 10 years of hard work: Sakshi Malik after bronze

Malik had earlier suffered a major setback as she went down 2-9 against Russia’s Valeriia Koblova in the quarter-finals of the event.

She, however, had brought herself back into the medal contention after her Russian opponent made it to the finals of the freestyle 58kg event.

With the win, Malik has now become only the fourth Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleshwari, Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal.

She has also become the fourth Indian wrestler to win a medal in Olympics after Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt.

Read | Wanted Sakshi to take up athletics and not wrestling, says her mother