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Rediff.com  » Sports » Highlights of Day 12: Sakshi breaks open medal chest

Highlights of Day 12: Sakshi breaks open medal chest

Last updated on: August 18, 2016 11:35 IST

Sakshi Malik

IMAGE: India's Sakshi Malik celebrates after defeating Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the women's Freestyle 58 kg bronze medal match at the Rio Olympics. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images.

Woman wrestler Sakshi Malik displayed extraordinary fighting spirit to end India's frustrating medal drought with a dramatic bronze-winning effort on Day 12 of the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old grappler from Haryana fought five bruising rounds in the 58kg freestyle category against equally determined opponents in a single day before securing the podium place.

She lost her quarter-final bout but got a fresh lease of life when her Russian conqueror, Valeriia Koblova, reached the final. It allowed her to compete in the repechage round.

She climbed the medal rostrum with a spectacular come-from-behind 8-5 victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan, after trailing 0-5 in the first period.

She jumped in celebration on the mat, smiling from ear-to-ear, before being hoisted by her coach, Kuldeep Singh, with the Indian tri-colour draped around her.

Vinesh Phogat

IMAGE:  An injured Vinesh Phogat of India is treated during the women's 48kg freestyle quarter-final bout against China's Yanan Sun (not pictured) at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images.

Her bronze medal-winning feat was like a balm, as it came after Vinesh Phogat was forced out of the 48kg competition due to an unfortunate knee injury, suffered during her quarter-final bout against China's Sun Yanan.

Vinesh had to be stretchered off the arena. The MRI scan confirmed a knee ligament tear. The injury occurred when the Chinese was leading 1-0.

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: India’s Kidambi Srikanth, left, and China’s Lin Dan embrace after their nail-biting men’s singles quarter-final at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters.

The day commenced with the elimination of shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who went down fighting to defending champion Lin Dan, thus dashing India's medal hopes in the men's singles badminton competition.

In another disappointment, woman half-miler Tintu Luka ran a poorly judged 800 metres and finished sixth in her first round heat in 2:00.58 seconds. She placed 29th overall among 65 participants.

A protege of track legend P T Usha, she holds the National record of 1:59.17 seconds, set in 2010.

She led the field till around the 600 metres mark before fading off in the final stretch.

Meanwhile, India's teen golfer Aditi Ashok fired a flawless three-under 68 to lie tied seventh after the opening round in the women's golf competition.

The 18-year-old from Bangalore, who won the qualifying finals to earn a full card on the Ladies European Tour (LET), picked up three birdies at the 2nd, 10th and 14th holes and parred the rests to stay three strokes adrift of the leader.

Aditi had represented India at the Asian Youth Games in 2013, Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and Asian Games in 2014.

All these results were before Sakshi brought enormous cheer at the fag end of the day's proceedings in Rio.

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