India’s Sakshi Malik poses with her bronze medal for the women’s wrestling freestyle 58-kg competition during the medals ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 17. (Atul Yadav | PTI)
Shuttler P.V. Sindhu made a historic entry into the final of women’s singles in Olympic Games badminton, and won a Silver, a day after grappler Sakshi Malik had nailed the country’s first medal, a bronze, after 11 blank days in Rio de Janeiro, writes Tapan Mohanta. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #SakshiMalik #PVSindhu #2016RioOlympics #TeamIndia #IndiaRioOlympics #IndianWomenPowerinRio
The Lanky Sindhu, ranked 10th in the world, ensured at least a silver medal to add to the country’s near-empty kitty after Sakshi had captured the bronze in 58 kg women’s wrestling when she outclassed Japan’s world no. 6 Nozomi Okuhara with clinical perfection.
Another wrestler made a tame exit from the competition to end the women’s campaign.
Babita Kumari lost her opening women’s 53 kg category wrestling bout 1-5 against Maria Prevolaraki of Greece and got eliminated from the Games.
Much was expected of Babita, winner of two medals in past Commonwealth Games and bronze medalist in the World Championship in 2012, when she got on the mat a day after teammate Sakshi’s epoch-making first medal in women’s wrestling.
But the 26-year-old grappler could not succeed against the tight defense put up by her Greek rival and lost points in both the periods of their pre-quarter final bout.
And when Maria too lost her quarter-final bout against Venezuela’s Betzabeth Angelica Arguello Villegas 3-6, it spelt curtains for the Indian’s slim hopes of replicating Sakshi and win a bronze through the repechage process.
While Sakshi won bronze in the 58 kg, Babita’s cousin Vinesh Phogat suffered a ligament tear during her bout in the 48 kg class against a Chinese rival, got stretchered out and also bowed out of the wrestling competition.