India’s sporting fraternity, led by iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, on Thursday (August 18) hailed female wrestler Sakshi Malik for clinching a historic bronze to end India’s frustrating wait for a medal in the Rio Olympic Games.
Tendulkar praised Malik for her resilience in the women’s wrestling 58kg class and said the country was proud of her feat.
“What great news to wake up to! #SakshiMalik, your resilience at #Rio2016 has made whole of India proud. Many Congratulations!!!” Tendulkar, who is also a goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent at the Rio Games, said.
The country’s lone individual Olympic gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra lauded Malik for lifting the spirits of every Indian.
“Congratulations and felicitations to sakshi malik. What a great performance. Thank you for lifting the spirits of every Indian,” shooter Bindra, who won a gold in 10m air rifle event in 2008 Beijing Olympics, said.
Bindra had finished fourth in the 10m air rifle event in the Rio Games.
Last night, Malik ended the country’s painful wait for a medal at the Rio Olympic Games by clinching the bronze in the 58kg category, pulling off a sensational 8-5 victory over her rival in the play-off bout.
The 23-year-old from Rohtak became only the fourth woman athlete from India to win an Olympic medal as she earned the dramatic win after falling behind 0-5 in the do-or-die bout on day 12. She became the first Indian woman wrestler to have won a medal in the Olympics. Her bronze is the country’s fifth medal overall in the sporting extravangza.
India’s only individual Olympic double medallist, wrestler Sushil Kumar congratulated Malik, describing her feat as path-breaking.
“She has done what no Indian girl has done before. A real hero #SakshiMalik u have set a path 4 many more 2 follow u,” Sushil, who a bronze in 2008 Olympics and a silver in 2012 Games, wrote.
London Games bronze medallist boxer Mary Kom and Beijing Olympics bronze winner pugilist Vijender Singh also praised Malik for her historic achievement.
“Congratulation #SakshiMalik Be strong #Rio2016 #wrestling #KheloIndia,” Mary Kom tweeted.
“Bow down to #SakshiMalik ‘s mother as well,who encouraged her 2 pursue wrestling. Tdy a country of1.25bn is rejoicing,” Vijender tweeted.
Another London Games bronze medallist shooter, Gagan Narang tweeted: “When a Bronze is Heavier than a Gold ...#SakshiMalik Take a Bow????????????????”
Indian cricket limited-over captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also applauded Sakshi for her determination and self belief she showed en route winning the bronze.
“Great comeback by Sakshi Malik 2 win our 1st medal in Rio.determination and self belief r the key for a performance like this. congratulations,” Dhoni tweeted.