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Day 12 at Rio: Smiles at last for India, Jamaicans sprint to glory

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:48 IST

The wait was long. The wait was agonising. The wait almost came to an end many times before. On Day 12 though, it was officially over. India won its first medal of Rio 2016 - a bronze - as Sakshi Malik came up trumps in the repechage round of the 58kg freestyle wrestling competition.

It was a series of comebacks that characterised Malik\'s triumph.

Elsewhere, Kidambi Srikanth came close in his match, and Tintu Luka once again messed up her strategy. The youngest golfer in the women\'s event, an Indian, performed exceptionally well to remain in the top 10.

Other than the Indians, there was Usain Bolt. He once again cantered into the 200m finals. Jamaica did the double in the women\'s 100m and 200m. Mo Farah remained on track to do the double and more.

Here\'s your round-up from Day 12 of the Rio Olympics:

Sakshi Malik (wrestling)

Sakshi Malik started wrestling 12 years ago. At that time, she didn't know what the Olympics were. She had taken up the sport to fulfill her dream of "getting on an airplane". Twelve years after seeing that dream started, it culminated in a bronze medal at the Olympics.

At the age of 23, Malik has a couple more Olympics in her, and the hope is that she'll do even better at Tokyo 2020.

Malik was under the gun in each and every bout she took part in. But whenever she slipped, she took one hard look at the scoreboard, regained her composure and rallied to beat her opponent, sometimes leaving it to the last possible second.

She entered the day knowing that she had the chance to win that elusive medal for India. Her grit and determination kept her going and the injury to her compatriot Vinesh Phogat made her focus even better.

Vinesh Phogat (wrestling)

The other Indian wrestler competing on Day 12, Vinesh Phogat, had to withdraw from her quarter-final match due to a knee injury. She twisted her leg during her women's freestyle 48 kg bout with Yanan Sun of China.

It was about midway through the match when Phogat was trailing 1-2, when her leg gave away. The match was immediately stopped and medical staff came rushing to the aid of the Indian wrestler.

Sun looked distraught at what had just happened and was seen crying as Phogat was stretchered off.

The Indian contingent was given the good news as Phogat has only been sidelined for two weeks.

"She has only a tendon tear, no fracture. The doctors said she would recover in a couple of weeks since there was no fracture," India's chef de mission Rakesh Gupta announced.

Kidambi Srikanth (badminton)

Once again, it was a case of "so near yet so far" for an Indian athlete. Competing against two-time defending Olympic champion and world No.1 Lin Dan of China, Kidambi Srikanth went down fighting, losing 6-21, 21-11, 18-21.

The first game may have been a cakewalk for the Chinese, as the pressure of the occasion was clearly getting to the Indian. However, in the second game, Srikanth did what he does best. He started with a three-point lead and never looked back.

The third game was a seesaw battle. At one point it looked like Dan would race away and win easily, but Srikanth came back strongly to make a fight of it. But in the end, Dan was too strong.

Aditi Ashok (golf)

The youngest competitor in the field and the only Indian in the fray, Aditi Ashok started off well with a three-under 68 to lie tied seventh after the opening round of the women's golf competition. The 18-year-old from Bangalore was flawless. She picked up birdies at the 2nd, 10th and 14th holes. Ashok stands three strokes adrift of the leader.

Tintu Luka (800m)

Once again, it was a poorly judged run from Indian 800m runner Tintu Luka. She finished sixth in her heats at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old clocked a timing of 2 minutes 0.58 seconds and finished 29th overall out of 65 runners.

As always, she was fastest out of the blocks and led the field until the 600m mark. There, she gave way to the other athletes who had conserved their energy during the initial stages.

Here's what else happened at the Rio Olympics on Day 12:

Elaine Thompson (200m)

Elaine Thompson of Jamaica completed a sprint double by adding the 200m title to the 100m she had already bagged.

The 24-year-old Jamaican staged an upset over favourite Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands. Thompson posted a timing of 21.78 seconds. Schippers took the silver medal in 21.88 seconds and USA's Tori Bowie took bronze in 22.15 seconds.

Usain Bolt (200m)

Usain Bolt will have his another shot at breaking the world record when he takes part in the final of the 200m event. On Wednesday, he overcame Canada's Andre de Grasse in a tight finish to the line in the semi-finals. It wasn't the best run from Bolt and surely he has a lot left in the tank.

"He was supposed to slow down," Bolt said. "I said 'What are you doing, it's a semi-final?' But I think he wanted to push me. I was a bit lazy but I got round. I don't know what he was trying to do but he's a young kid, he's great."

There were two shocks in the 200m when USA's Justin Gatlin and Bolt's fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake failed to qualify for Thursday's 200m final. Lashawn Merritt of the USA will be in the final to give Bolt a run for his money.

Women's 100m hurdles

The USA completed a clean sweep of the medals in the women's 100m hurdles when Brianna Rollins stormed to gold in 12.48 seconds, followed by Nia Ali on 12.59 seconds and Kristi Castlin with a timing of 12.61 seconds.

Mo Farah (5,000m)

Despite a fall in the heats of the 5,000m race, Mo Farah of Great Britain is still on track for a historic 'double-double' at Rio Games. Farah, who won both the 5,000m and the 10,000m at London 2012, successfully defended his title at the longer distance in a dramatic final last Saturday when he recovered after tumbling to the track.

On the last lap of his 5,000m heat, Farah was clipped by another runner and stumbled a bit, but was quickly back in his stride to finish third in 13 minutes 25.25 seconds.

Caster Semenya (800m)

Caster Semenya of South Africa cruised into the semi-finals of the 800m, easily winning her heat to confirm her as the favourite for the Olympic title. She won her heat in 1 minute 59.31 seconds, almost four seconds off her season's best time.

Chinese sweep

China maintained and reinforced their dominance in table tennis by repeating in Rio what they did four years ago in London 2012. They swept all the gold medals in the singles and team table tennis competitions. The Chinese men's team, led by Ma Long, who had already won the men's singles, defeated Japan in the final. China had already won the women's team title, and Ding Ning won the women's singles gold.

Kaori Icho (wrestling)

Kaori Icho etched her name into Japanese folklore. She became the first woman to win an individual gold medal in four straight Olympic Games in any sport. She won the 58kg women's freestyle event. She was down 1-2 against her opponent but turned things around in the dying seconds of the bout to win it 3-2 and take the gold medal.

Brazil into men's football final

Neymar scored the fastest goal in Olympic history as Brazil completed a 6-0 thrashing of Honduras at Rio's iconic Maracana stadium. The hosts have a chance to get some revenge on rivals Germany in the final. Germany had beaten Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Team Great Britain member held at gunpoint

While enjoying a night out in town on Wednesday, a member of the British Olympic team in Rio was held at gunpoint, The Guardian reported. The news came as a shock to British athletes and officials - many of whom might have been looking to enjoy themselves after their respective events came to an end. The person in question was "in shock but was not seriously hurt".

Boxing referees and judges removed

After officials reviewed their decisions, several referees and judges were removed from the Olympic boxing competition, fueling suspicion of dubious results in some of the matches at the Rio Games.

First published: 18 August 2016, 4:14 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a sports and tech correspondent on the speed news desk at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.