#Sport

Aditi Ashok All Set To Bring India Its First Olympic Medal In Golf

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Who is Aditi Ashok? Golfer Aditi Ashok currently holds the third rank at the Olympic event that is underway in Tokyo. OnThursday, Ashok completed her second round and was in the joint lead with Danish golfer Nanna Koerstz Madsen early in the game. At one point, she tied at the second spot with a nine-under par on the leaderboard in Round 2 of Women’s Golf at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on August 5. She finally finished Round 2 with a five-under par and remained among the top golfers in contention with a total of 66 (-5).

Golfer Aditi Ashok is currently tied on the second spot after two rounds in Women’s Golf at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on August 5. She has finished her round 2 outing and remains among the top golfers in contention with a total of 133 (-9) on Thursday. The 23-year-old Ashok fired a stellar 66 in the second round to tie on second with the Danish duo of Nanna Koerstz Madsen (64) and Emily Kristine Pedersen (63), sharing second place on 9-under par.

Ashok might bring India its first-ever medal in golf. She had birdies on Hole Nos. 2, 5, 15, 17 and 18 to keep herself in contention for a historic Olympic podium finish. Meanwhile, World No. 1 Nelly Korda of the United States tied the Olympic record of 62 to open up a four-shot lead on 13-under 129 in the race for the gold medal. The Indian will play again on Saturday’s scheduled final round.

 

Ashok is just 21, but she has quietly notched the top place in the women’s golf table. Surprisingly, this is her second Olympics appearance after playing in Rio at the age of 18. She was the youngest player at the 2016 Olympics.

Back in 2016, Ashok became the only woman golfer to represent India at the event and it took her a while to know what type of impact her presence at the Games would have back home. Five years later, the world number 200 knows that competing at the women’s golf event in Tokyo means changing the image of Indians in the game at the international level.

Teenager Aditi Ashok made history as the youngest golfer – man or woman – in Rio, for the first time in 112 years. She quickly became an overnight sensation in her country where golf is considered an elite sport.

Five years ago, when Ashok was starting in the Olympics, her father, Pandit Gudlamani Ashok, was caddying for her and this year it was her mother, Maheshwari, who has been a big influence on her. She had just finished her high school exams and the rookie appeared at the Olympics happened within two months. It was a disappointing start but the young golfer has been playing on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) for the last five years to garner more experience so that she can return stronger and more determined. “I didn’t finish as well as I wanted to last time, but just seeing the effect that it had on golf in India was inspiring and that’s kind of what motivated me for this one as well,” she recently said.

With experience on her back, the champion now aims to put golf on the radar of young young aspiring sportswomen and men in the country, who often feel intimidated by the sport and see less prospects in it. Today, Ashok has 18 Major appearances under her belt, and has attracted global attention. But this success came courtesy an early start at the game. Did you know that Aditi Ashok started playing golf at the age of five? More here.

Before Ashok, there were no big names representing India in women’s golf, especially at big stages like the Olympics. “A lot of people were trying to figure out what golf was so that they could understand how I was playing and if I had a chance to win a medal,” she told reporters at Kasumigaseki Country Club Wednesday after her opening four-under par 67. This year, India’s other entrant in the field, Diksha Dagar had a rough start in her maiden Olympics but she is steadily improving in the game.

Meanwhile, Ashok got a career-best finish on the LPGA tour in Midland, USA, last month.

UPDATE: Golfer Aditi Ashok ranked 2 at the end of Women’s Individual Stroke Play Round 3. She has a two-stroke cushion over third place. She might become the first Golfer from India to clinch a medal in the Olympics. 

Ashok remains in the medal contention. She is at the second spot at the end of round 3 (total 4 rounds) of women’s golf.

If Round 4 doesn’t take place tomorrow due to rain, she is getting India a silver medal.

Feature Image Credit: News18.com

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