Delhi: Sakshi Malik, who won the bronze medal in wrestling freestyle 58kg event at the Rio Olympics 2016, returned to India to a hero’s welcome. The wrestler was greeted by a swarm of people at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi.
Upon arriving in Delhi, Sakshi said that she wanted to fight till the very end and get India that elusive medal.
“There was a lot of expectations for medals from other events. I felt a little disappointed that India still had not won a medal, and when my event came I wanted to give my best and fight till the end for my country,”.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar later felicitated Sakshi Malik in Bahadurgarh. She was named the ‘Beti Bachao’ ambassador of Haryana. Sakshi Malik came from behind in the dying seconds of the bout to turn the tables on her Kyrgyzstan opponent and clinch the bronze medal, India’s first at Rio. She also became the first Indian female wrestler to win an Olympic medal.
“I’m very happy I have received such a huge welcome. I want to thank all those who have supported me,” she said.
Following her bronze-winning exploits at the 2016 Rio Games, Sakshi Malik was named India’s flag bearer at the closing ceremony.
“I had dreamt of going to the Olympics and getting a medal, but never thought I will get the opportunity to be India’s flag bearer. That dream has also come true and it is a matter of great pride for me that I carried the Indian flag,” Sakshi Malik said.
She also expressed jubilation at getting the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, which will be presented to her on August 29 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
“I’m very happy that I’m receiving the Khel Ratna,” said the grappler.