Thangjam Tababi Devi scripted history by becoming India’s first Judo medallist at the Olympics when she clinched a silver in the women’s 44kg category at the Youth Olympic Games.
Tababi Devi went down 0-11 to Venezuela’s Maria Giminez in the finals to settle for silver. An Asian Cadet champion, the 16-year-old, who hails from Manipur, survived for just a little over two minutes but by then she had already entered the Indian record books for becoming the first Indian to win a Judo medal at any Olympic level.
She had earlier defeated Croatia’s Ana Viktorija Puljiz 10-0 in the semi-finals to assure herself at least a silver. In the quarterfinals she had outclassed Erza Muminoviq of Kosovo, having already beaten Bhutan’s Yangchen Wangmo 10-0 in the round of 16.
The silver was India’s second medal at the campaign following Tushar Mane’s silver win in the men’s 10m air rifle event.
It was, however, disappointment in swimming as national champion Srihari Natraj failed to qualify for the men’s 100m backstroke after finishing ninth in the semi-finals. Natraj overtook his qualifying heat’s timing of 56.75 seconds but his effort of 56.48 seconds wasn’t sufficient to put him through into the top eight, which is the last position to reach the final.
A contingent of 46 athletes across 13 sports will be representing India at the prestigious event. India had only won two medals – one silver and one bronze – at the last Youth Olympics in 2014 at Nanjing, China.
Meanwhile, India’s best performance at the Youth Olympic Games came in 2010 – which was also the inaugural edition – where India claimed six slivers and two bronze medals.