Tababi Devi clinches India’s first judo medal at Olympics

Thangjam Tababi Devi's youth silver was India’s second medal at the ongoing Games.

Ana Viktorija Puljiz CRO (blue) competes with Tababi Devi Thangjam IND (white) in the Judo Womens -44kg competition at the Asia Pavilion, Youth Olympic Park.   -  REUTERS

Thangjam Tababi Devi became India’s first judo medallist at the Olympic level, claiming a silver at the ongoing Youth Games after losing to Venezuela’s Maria Giminez in the finals of the women’s 44kg category here.

Tababi Devi, an Asian cadet champion from Manipur, lost 0-11, also conceding a penalty point in the process, in the summit showdown that lasted a little over two minutes on Sunday night.

India has never won an Olympic medal in judo either at the senior or the youth level.

The 16-year-old defeated Ana Viktorija Puljiz of Croatia 10-0 in the semifinals. Prior to that, she defeated Bhutan’s Yangchen Wangmo 10-0 in the round of 16 before getting the better of Erza Muminoviq of Kosovo in the quarters.

Her silver was India’s second medal at the ongoing Games after shooter Tushar Mane also clinched the second position in the men’s 10m air rifle competition.

However, in swimming, national champion Srihari Nataraj could not qualify for the men’s 100m backstroke finals after finishing 9th in the semis. Only the top eight make it to the finals.

Nataraj clocked 56.48sec, which was better than his Heats timing of 56.75sec.

India won just two medals — a silver and a bronze — in the last Youth Olympics in 2014 in Nanjing, China.

India’s best performance at the Games came in its inaugural edition in 2010 when it bagged six silver and two bronze medals.

A contingent of 68 members from India, including 46 athletes, is in Argentina to compete in 13 sports during the prestigious event.

This is India’s largest ever contingent at the Youth Olympics.