Rio 2016: Sakshi Malik reaches pre-quarters in 58kg freestyle wrestling

Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik made a stunning comeback, knocking out world number 3 Johanna Mattsson 5-4 to advance to the pre-quarterfinals in the women’s 58kg event at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Rohtak player made a disappointing start to her opponent Sweden, losing 0-4 in the first period.

Malik, however, rebounded in style to earn the lost points and register a victory in a hotly contested qualifying round.

With the victory, Sakshi has now set up a clash against Mariana Cherdivara from Modova in the round of 16.

Earlier, Sakshi had replaced Geeta Phogat in the 58kg category after the veteran wrestler was given a temporary suspension for losing her fight in the previous qualifying tournament in Mongolia.

India, which has sent its largest contingent of 119 athletes to the Rio Olympics, has yet to open its medal account for the current Summer Games.

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Robert J. King