India’s Aditi Ashok missed a historic medal in women’s golf at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she was celebrated at home with tributes led by the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind.
The 23-year-old Aditi bravely fought through the final round at Kasumigaseki Country Club and shot a final 3-under 68 to finish one stroke less for a podium with her 15-under 269 total.
US world number 1 Nelly Korda won gold at 17 under 267 after a 69, with Mone Inami securing Japan’s first ever medal in golf by winning the silver after beating New Zealand’s Lydia Ko in the first hole of a defeated sudden-death play-off round. tied 16-under.
All week, Aditi, who had her mother Maheshwari at a dome service, was an image of confidence and calm while bravely staying in the medal hunt through an exciting final round and having a few birdie chances to get to the to join play-off match, only to miss out painfully. sit on the 17ste and 18ste gate.
Shortly after the play was completed, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Well played @aditigolf! You showed great skill and determination during # Tokyo2020. A medal was little missed, but you went beyond any Indian and made a trail. Best wishes for your future efforts. ”
India’s President Ram Nath Kovind also posted a congratulatory tweet for the young Indian. “Well played, Aditi Ashok! Another daughter from India makes her mark! You have taken Indian golfing to new heights through today’s historic achievement. You played with tremendous calmness and self-control. Congratulations on the impressive display of enthusiasm and skills. ”
Aditi, the lone Indian on the LPGA Tour, was depressed after the final round after being so close to a medal.
“Yes, 17 was perfect. I hit it exactly the speed I wanted, the line I wanted, I just – maybe I made too many (putts) through the four rounds, golf gods were like, okay, we’re not going for her this one do not give up, ”said Aditi, who led the Stroke Acquired: Well category with 13.01 strokes scored across the field during the week.
“I just tried my best, even the last hole, although it was really out of reach, it was almost a long shot, but I still tried to give it a chance. I think I gave it my best effort. I mean, I wanted to hole it up and I gave my best effort, it’s hard to force the issue when you’re about 30 feet away. ”
An unobtrusive stubborn rider cost her dearly as she hit only five clean sheets in the final round which stopped her from being more aggressive in the greens. “I did not really drive the ball very well and then it is difficult to get birdie shots or hit greens if you are not in the clear. It was definitely the hardest part to make a score, ”said Aditi, who picked up golf when she was five.
“I only hit the top nine and I think the back nine should have hit a few more, maybe three or four more. So it was bad today, put my kind of out of position so I could not get close to the flag. I tried my best to keep the last few shots and just know, because in a regular tournament whether you finish second or fourth it really does not matter, no one cares. But as with this event, you need to be in the top 3. I did not leave anything out there, I think I gave it to me one hundred percent, but yes, fourth at an Olympics where they hand out three medals is a kind of suck. ”
India’s other representative, Diksha Dagar, finished T50 at 6-over 290. She said Aditi’s run was really inspiring and would encourage young girls to start the sport. “It was a wonderful experience and I will continue to work hard to improve,” she said. “Aditi had a very good week and I want to try to follow in her footsteps. “This show will definitely raise awareness for golf, as not everyone in India knows about golf.”
Aditi hopes her medal run in Tokyo will put a bigger spotlight on the game at home, which through the reaction of the country’s leading politicians would certainly make many sit up and take note of the sport. “I think it’s good, just even top 5 or top 10 at an Olympic Games is really good. Because you know that sport or that person has a medal chance. So just having more top finishes, even if it’s not exactly a podium finish, might bring eyes to the sport and more support, more kids picking up more, whatever, that helps the game let it grow, ”said Aditi.
“When I started golf, of course I never dreamed of being at the Olympics or competing, golf was not even an Olympic sport. So sometimes you just pick it up and work hard and enjoy every day and sometimes you come here. ”
Indeed, Aditi Ashok has reached the highest level of women’s golf.