Sakshi Malik captured India's first medal in Rio after an 11-day drought.
Sakshi Malik captured India’s first medal in Rio after an 11-day drought.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Diya TV) — Women’s wrestler Sakshi Malik captured India’s first medal at the Rio Olympics Wednesday, she clinched bronze in the 58KG category, showcasing a phenomenal 8-5 victory over Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova in a playoff match.

The 23-year-old from Rohtak became just the fourth female athlete in India’s history to win an Olympic medal. Coming from behind, Malik performed sensationally from a 5-0 deficit during the do-or-die matchup.

Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London) were the only other women athletes from India to have won a medal in Olympics.

As in her previous three matches in the day, Malik countered against an early scoring deficit to emerge victorious. She had lost 2-9 in the quarterfinals against Russia’s Valeriia Koblova in her fifth bout of the day, before ultimately getting a second chance after the aforementioned Koblova reached the final.

Malik’s medal brought to an official end the 11-day drought India was faced with as a nation in Rio.

She turned the tables on the Kyrgyzstan wrestler in the closing stages of the match — Tynybekova appeared in complete control of the match and was cruising toward victory until Malik opened the scoring during the second period by throwing her rival down to the mat. Scoring two points, she was awarded two more after a similar move.

The score was then 4-5 in favor of Tynybekova.

Soon the two fighters found themselves deadlocked in a level score of 5-5, at that point, it was time for Malik to make her move — she gained three more points by pinning down the Kyrgyzstan wrestler in the dying moments of the match.