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Indian Golfer Aditi Ashok, World Number 200, Finishes Fourth in Tokyo

Ranked 200th in the world, Aditi Ashok stunned a power-packed field but went onto finish fourth in Tokyo.

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Olympic Sports
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23-year-old Indian golfer Aditi Ashok put up a stellar show at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but a late surge from Japan's Mone Inami saw the young star miss the medal by one stroke.

Aditi started the final round on Saturday in the second position but shot -3 to finish with an aggregate score of 15-under 269.

Nelly Korda of the United States, the world number one, bagged the gold medal with a score of 17-under 267 while Japan's Inami and New Zealand's Lydia Ko went into a play-off for the silver which was won by Inami. Ko, a former world number one herself, finished with a bronze.

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Aditi made her Olympics debut in Rio five years back where she remained in the top 10 for the third two rounds of the event but went onto 41st. She was the youngest player in the women's event.

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Even though she missed a historic bronze in the sport by a whisker, the magnitude of the achievement was not lost all those who had tuned into watch Aditi in action early on Saturday morning.

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."

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."

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Ranked 200th in the world, Aditi Ashok stunned a power-packed field but went onto finish fourth in Tokyo.

Aditi Ashok with her mother as her caddie at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

(Photo: PTI)

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."

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