New Delhi, Aug 7: Golfer Aditi Ashok's showing at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday has been nothing short of an inspirational story, which will be told for decades to come.
Even though she missed a historic bronze in the sport by a whisker, the magnitude of the achievement was not lost on the billion-strong India on Saturday morning, which congratulated her and expressed its highest gratitude to the 23-year-old, who has still not fully recovered from a severe bout of Covid-19.
The President of India Ram Nath Kovind was among the first to express his appreciation for the Bengaluru-based golfer -- who was a picture of consistency all through the competition and even looked good for a gold medal --, tweeting, "Well played, Aditi Ashok! One more daughter of India makes her mark! You have taken Indian golfing to new heights by today's historic performance. You have played with immense calm and poise. Congratulations for the impressive display of grit and skills."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Well played @aditigolf ! You have shown tremendous skill and resolve during #Tokyo2020. A medal was narrowly missed but you've gone farther than any Indian and blazed a trail. Best wishes for your future endeavours."
Within minutes, the PM's tweet had been shared and liked thousands of times.
Union Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur tweeted, "India's 1st woman golfer to finish 4th at Olympics Games! Aditi Ashok, deserves a standing ovation for her exemplary performance at #Tokyo2020. You played consistently well, had us holding our breath till the end @aditigolf! You created history, best wishes ahead."
Not many had given Aditi a chance when she had boarded the flight to Tokyo, as she was ranked 200th in the world and her competition was against some of the best in the world. And, with Covid-19 wreaking havoc on her body, she was still way off her best. But the 15-under 269 over the four rounds showed how resolute she was in her goal.
India's only individual gold medallist at the Olympics, rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra tweeted, "Excellent composure & perseverance shown by @aditigolf throughout the last 4 days. Ranked 200th at the start of #Tokyo2020 to finishing fourth at the #Olympics, an absolutely incredible performance! You have made the whole country proud today! I'm a fan for life!"
Tennis ace and winner of 12 Grand Slams in men's doubles and mixed doubles, Mahesh Bhupathi congratulated Aditi, saying, "@aditigolf while I know the pain of finishing 4th, what you did the last four days playing against the best in the business is nothing short of spectacular. I am a fan for life... Clapping hands sign #RuknaNahiHai #olympics".
India's top doubles player Rohan Bopanna, who missed the Tokyo Olympics, said, "Proud of the way you competed these past 4 days against the best in the world @aditigolf. So much heart and spirit (Flexed biceps sign) #golfindia."
Top tennis player and winner of the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, Somdev Devvarman tweeted, "Medal or not, golf in India is better now than before she began the olympics. Thank you Aditi Ashok."