Trailing 0-5, Sakshi displayed exceptional skills to win the match, 8-5, in the final seconds and become the first ever Indian woman grappler to win an Olympic medal.
Earlier, in the 48 kg category, it was heart break for Vinesh Phogat who made an unfortunate exit from the Games after injuring her knee in the quarterfinal match. China’s Yanan Sun was named the winner as Vinesh, who looked promising in her opening match, was stretched off in tears.
India’s other female wrestler in the Games, Babita Kumari will be seen in action in the 53 kg division later today. She will clash with Maria Prevolaraki of Greece in the Round-of-16.
Male wrestlers, including London Olympics Bronze medalist Yogeshwar Dutt, will begin their campaigns later.
Over in Badminton, Kidambi Srikanth’s hopes of winning an Olympic medal were dashed last evening after he went down battling world number three Lin Dan of China, 6-21, 21-11, 18-21 in the quarterfinals. PV Sindhu had, earlier, entered the Singles semi-finals beating world number two Chinese Yihan Wang. She became only the second Indian shuttler – first being Saina Nehwal – to make it to the Olympics last-4. Sindhu will play her semi-final today against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. If Sindhu wins, India will be assured of a Silver medal.