Sakshi Malik
Woman wrestler Sakshi Malik proudly showing off her bronze medal after a brave performance to help India finish at the podium for the first time in Rio Olympics.IANS

Indian women played an important role in helping the nation win two medals in Rio Olympics. PV Sindhu won silver in badminton and Sakshi Malik clinched bronze in wrestling, but the latter feels that she could have done much better in the event. Sakshi also received a hero's welcome at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi on Wednesday.

Sakshi, who helped India win their first medal in Rio, showed some amazing skills to win bronze, winning two matches in the repechage round. Initially, she defeated Purevdorjiin Orkhon of Mongolia, and later emerged victorious against Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyztan in the all-important medal match.

The Indian did not start her bout against Tynybekova in a grand manner, going down 0-5, but she came back strongly to win the bronze medal 8-5.

Prior to the repechage round, Sakshi lost to Valeriia Koblova from Russia in the quarterfinals, and the Indian believes that she could have reached the finals had she not committed some minor mistakes in the round of eight bout.

"My 12-year long dream has been fulfilled. I could have got silver medal as well. I could have reached the finals. I had a fight with Russia at the time of qualifying. So, I had a belief that if I would fight well, I could reach the finals. But I lost the bout because of my minor mistakes," ANI quoted Sakshi as saying.

The Indian government has already recognised her special feat, and the wrestler will be conferred with the country's highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Other Rio 2016 athletes like PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar and Jitu Rai will also be awarded the prestigious award.

Sakshi, who is just 23, has a good future ahead of her, and can aim for better performances in major world events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The quadrennial event in Rio was her maiden appearance, and there might have been nerves for the wrestler, but four years down the line in Tokyo, greater things will be expected from the Indian.