`Negativity didn’t creep into my mind`, says Rio bronze medallist Sakshi Malik

By Vivek Prabhakar Singh Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Aug 18 : Describing the bronze medal win at the Rio Olympics as the greatest feeling of her life, ace Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik insisted that negative thoughts didn't creep into her mind when she was trailing 0-5 in the crucial match of the women's freestyle 58 kg category here.

The 23-year-old from Haryana produced a sensational comeback to overturn a 5-0 deficit against reigning Asian champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan, registering eight points in the second period of play to end the country's agonising wait for a medal in Rio on Wednesday.

"I am filled with pride and extremely happy that I have fulfilled the expectations of people and finally put India on the medal tally.

It is truly the greatest feeling that I have ever had in my life," said a visibly ecstatic Sakshi, who became the fourth Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleshwari, Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal.

"Negativity didn't creep into my mind as I was confident of overturning the match in the last 10 secs," Sakshi said while expressing hope that India gets more medal in the prestigious quadrennial event.

After going down 2-9 against Russia's Valeriia Koblova in the quarter-finals, Sakshi received another chance at a medal via repechage and made full use of the second life by outplaying Mongolian wrestler Orkhon Purevdorj 12-3 to advance to the bronze-medal match.

"I was confident of winning a medal going into the repechage round and gave it my all," Sakshi recalled.

With the win, she also became the fourth Indian wrestler to win a medal in Olympics after Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt.

Source: ANI