By Vivek Prabhakar Singh Rio de Janerio, Aug 18 : Ecstatic with Sakshi Malik's remarkable feat which ended India's agonising wait for a medal at the ongoing Rio Olympics, country's chef-de-mission Rakesh Gupta said he was very proud of the way the freestyle wrestler performed, especially in the last minute of her bout against Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan.
"We are very proud of her and are extremely happy with her victory. We know that it is late but at least we have begun and opened our account on the medal tally," Gupta told ANI.
"I was watching her performance and was disappointed when she lost in the preliminary rounds. We were praying that she wins the gold medal but it did not happen. Especially in the last minute, she came out with a tremendous performance," he added. Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports, who sponsored Sakshi Malik said, "It's a huge day, we are very happy to be part of Sakshi's journey so far.
And it's a big day for India and the entire Olympic contingent." The 23-year-old Haryana girl clinched the bronze medal in the Women's Freestyle 58kg category with a spirited comeback victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova.
Although Malik was trailing 0-5 against her Kyrgyzstani opponent after the first period, she bounced back in style to hand India its fourth bronze medal in wrestling in the Olympic history.
With the win, she has now become only the fourth Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleshwari, Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal.
She has also become the fourth Indian wrestler to win a medal in Olympics after Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt.