Wrestler Sakshi Malik was the brightest spot for India on Day 12 of Rio Olympics, winning the bronze medal in the 58kg category event of women's wrestling. This was India's first medal in the quadrennial event. Eighteen-year-old golfer Aditi Ashok also impressed in the first round. Other athletes, including wrestler Vinesh Phogat, 800m runner Tintu Luka and shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, could not bring joy to India on Wednesday.
Malik showed some great character to help India win their maiden medal. After going down 5-0 to Aisuluu Tynybekova in the bronze medal match, one might have thought that India's chances were negligible, but the never-say-die attitude of the Rohtak-based wrestler played an important role in her stunning fight back.
In the second period of the match, Malik looked aggressive and earned some important points after pinning her opponent to the mat. With the score levelled at 5-5, Malik showed her class in the final few seconds to clinch the bronze medal.
However, the other woman wrestler in the team, Vinesh Phogat was unlucky as she suffered a horrific leg injury during the quarterfinals clash and had to be carried away in a stretcher.
Bangalore-based golfer Aditi is tied at the seventh position, along with Azahara Munoz (Spain), Lexi Thompson (US) and Charley Hull (GB), after she managed an incredible three-under 68 in the opening round. She also picked three birdies, and will hope to put up another good show in the second round on Thursday.
In the badminton men's singles event, India's Srikanth came up with a good performance, but was still not able to defeat defending champion Lin Dan in the quarterfinals. After going a set down, Srikanth proved his class, with some stunning show in the second game, and outplayed the Chinese shuttler.
In the decider, the game was close, with both players not giving an inch to the other. But Lin Dan held his nerves when it mattered most in the crucial stages of the match to win the game, and the match as well.
India's performance in the track and field has been disappointing, and the talented athlete from Kerala, Luka, looked below par in the 800m Heats. Despite a good start, Luka could not deliver the goods in the final lap, where she was overtaken by most of the runners. The Indian runner finished a disappointing sixth in a field of eight athletes with a timing of 2:00:58.