Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik, describing the bronze medal win in Rio, 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 18 August.
"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 medals in the prestigious quadrennial event.
After going down 2-9 against Russia's Valeriia Koblova in the quarter-finals, Sakshi got 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.