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Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo
No let up.
IN PHOTOS

Rio Olympics 2016: When Indian women bared their sporting claws

By Itika Sharma Punit

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:

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