Rohtak, Aug 18: Celebrations took place at the home of Sakshi Malik on Thursday in Haryana's Rohtak town after the gritty wrestler brought India its first medal in the ongoing Rio Olympics by winning a bronze.
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For a state (Haryana) which has the worst sex ratio among all the states in the country (879 females against 1,000 males as per the 2011 census) and known for female foeticide, Sakshi has overcome a double barrier -- getting a medal for the country and being the first woman in the wrestling field to do so.
Neighbours, relatives, friends, fellow wrestlers, coaches, political leaders and many other people started converging on Sakshia's home here after she clinched the bronze medal in Rio.
"We are elated at her feat. She had promised me that she will get a medal for the country. She has done the country and us proud," a visibly happy Sudesh Malik, Sakshi's mother said.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar spoke to Sakshi's parents, Sukhbir and Sudesh Malik, on phone and congratulated them.
Sakshi will get a reward of Rs 3 crore from the Haryana government for her feat.
The diminutive 23-year-old hailing from Mokhra village near Rohtak, achieved glory at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday night by bagging India's first medal at the 31st Olympic Games.
She clinched the bronze in the Women's Freestyle 58kg category with a spirited comeback victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan.
The young wrestler overturned a 0-5 deficit in a hectic second round to script an 8-5 victory in the medal bout at the Carioca Arena 2 here.
"I have stood up to the hopes of the country for the first medal. I was confident that I can win in the end even being down. The last two hours were the most difficult for me thinking whether the medal will come or not," she said in her initial comments soon after winning.
"This is the first time that a medal has come for women. It's a success of my 12 years of dedication. My hard work has succeeded," Sakshi said.
A total of 21 sportspersons from Haryana were part of the 100-strong Indian contingent which went to the Rio Olympics.