Sakshi: 'Bronze medal is a result of my 12 years of hard work'

"I never gave up till the last, I knew I would win if I lasted till six minutes. In last round, I had to give my maximum, I had the self belief, said Sakshi after winning the bronze medal.

Sakshi Malik... a bronze in the women's 58kg wrestling event.   -  AP

After ending India's agonising wait for an Olympic medal at the Rio Games with a bronze medal, Indian woman wrestler Sakshi Malik said it was the result of her 12 years of persistent hard work.

" Meri 12 saal ki tapasya rang layi (It's the result of my 12 years' fight for day and night). Geeta didi, my senior had qualified for the first time in London," Sakshi said, with tears of joy in her eyes.

"I never thought I would become the first woman wrestler from India to bag an Olympic medal in wrestling. I hope the remaining wrestlers will also do well," Sakshi said.

"It's in the women's section, we have got the first medal for India," said an ecstatic WFI president Brij Bhushan even as he hugged her in joy.

On her defensive approach that saw her trailing 0-5, Sakshi said: "I never gave up till the last, I knew I would win if I lasted till six minutes. In last round, I had to give my maximum, I had the self belief."

"It was an agonising two-three hours wait for me. Congratulations to my country-mates, I could live up to their expectations," she said.