Rio Olympics 2016: When Indian women bared their sporting claws

No let up.
No let up.
Image: Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo
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Docile they are not. Let that sink in first.

India’s 2016 Olympic stars PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, and Dipa Karmakar stand tall amidst shattered glass ceilings, prejudices, and apathy. These women have smashed, punched, and vaulted their way forward in a country that counts on its sons for success and sees its daughters as the meek ones to be married off.

Over the last two weeks, the Indian contingent at Rio has crossed a series of hurdles, including a doping scandal and official indifference, to claw back into the reckoning for medals. This fightback has been led mostly by its women members.

While shuttler Sindhu has won silverwrestler Malik secured a bronze. Earlier, gymnast Karmakar did what was unthinkable for India till she actually did it: entering the women’s vault finals and coming fourth.

Their winning performances were about passion, grit, hard work, and inspiration. The exemplary dedication of India’s sportswomen had to be seen to be believed.

Here are some images of their sweat and glory:

India's Sindhu Pusarla
Sindhu reacts after winning the women’s singles semi-final badminton match.
Image: AP Photo/Kin Cheung
Dipa Karmakar
Dipa Karmakar makes it look easy during the women’s vault final.
Image: Reuters/Mike Blake
India's Sakshi Malik in action against Kyrgyzstan's Aisuluu Tynybekova.
Sakshi Malik just wouldn’t let go in the women’s freestyle 58kg game for bronze.
Image: EPA/Sergei Ilnitsky
Hockey player Vandana Katariya.
Hockey player Vandana Katariya in action.
Image: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko
India's Manika Batra.
Manika Batra waits for a serve.
Image: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
Aditi Ashok
Aditi Ashok gives a shot during a practice round.
Image: Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Dutee Chand
Dutee Chand crosses the line in the women’s 100-meter first round.
Image: AP Photo/Martin Meissner
India's Bombayla Devi Laishram.
Bombayla Devi Laishram calmly aims during the archery event.
Image: AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Seema Punia
Seema Punia mulls over her own performance during the discus throw qualifying round.
Image: Reuters/Ivan Alvarado
Mirabai Chanu Saikhom
Mirabai Chanu Saikhom carries the weight of a nation in the final of women’s 48kg weightlifting.
Image: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
Vinesh Phogat
It’s not just the physical pain for Vinesh Phogat, injured in a match during the wrestling freestyle round.
Image: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel