Wrestler Sakshi Malik won India's first medal at the 2016 Olympics, defeating Kyrgyzstan's Aisuluu Tynybekova 8-5 in the bronze medal match early on Thursday IST. Malik made a sensational comeback after being down 0-5 at the halfway point. It was Tynybekova who dominated the first period, picking up her first point after Malik was penalised for passivity. The Kyrgyzstani then went 5-0 up after two take-downs.
However, Malik came into her own right at the very end of the second period, pulling off her own take-downs as she picked up four vital points and then levelled the score to make it 5-5. Then, in the last 10 seconds, the 23-year-old added two extra points to win a historic bronze for India, with an extra point added to her tally after her opponent made a failed challenge.
Apart from winning India's first medal at these Olympics, Malik also became the first Indian woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal. She lost to Russia's Valeria Koblova in the quarter-finals earlier on Wednesday but got another chance in the repechage round after the Russian progressed to the final. Malik then beat Orkhon Purevdorj of Mongolia 12-3 in the repechage round to progress to the bronze medal playoff.
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