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On Thursday, India will wake up to the news that wrestler Sakshi Malik has defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova in Women’s freesyle 58Kg wrestling, claiming India’s first medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Malik defeated Tynybekova (8-5) in a nail-biting contest contest for the Bronze medal in which she fought back from 0-5. After catching up 5-5 in the second period of the match, scoring two points by throwing Tynybekova on the mat, she pulled ahead by pinning down her rival in the final moments of the match.
The 23-year-old, who ended India’s 11-day drought at Rio, is the first female wrestler from India to win an Olympic medal. Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari, boxer MC Mary Kom and badminton player Saina Nehwal are the only other Indian women to have won a medal at the Olympics.
Keeping up trend and tradition, Malik bit down on her medal.
While Twitter exploded with messages from those who were following the match in the early hours of Thursday morning, Malik’s family kicked off celebrations in their hometown of Rohtak. “India’s daughter has stopped India’s medal drought. So proud of her,” Sudesh Malik, her mother, told ANI.