Golfer Aditi Ashok says hard to be happy with 4th place at Olympics; PM Modi, President laud her efforts
However, in any other tournament, Aditi Ashok would have gladly taken a fourth-place finish but this was the Olympics, and the golfer said it is hard for her to be happy even though she produced the best performance by an Indian at the showpiece.
Overnight sole 2nd, Aditi finished fourth with a three-under 68 in the final round that left her 15-under 269 overall at the par-71 Kasumigaseki Country Club, where the world number one Nelly Korda of the USA took gold with a four-round total of 17-under 267.
"In any other tournament I would be really happy, but it's hard to be happy with fourth place. I played good and gave it my 100 percent," she said.
The 23-year-old was not particularly happy with her final round show even though it was studded with five birdies against just two bogeys.
"I was just missing so many fairways. The front nine I just hit one, and the back nine, I think, I must have hit maybe three of four more. That was bad today, put me out of position. I couldn't get close to the flag," she rued.
But she is hopeful that her stellar performance would ignite unprecedented interest in the sport, which is perceived to be elitist.
"I wish I had a medal, but I hope everyone is still happy. Going into the round, I didn't think about it (people watching her on TV) too much," she said.
"Just having more top finishes, even if it's not exactly a podium finish, will maybe bring more support to the sport, (with) more kids picking it up. That helps build the game," she said.
Golf returned to Olympics in 2016 after over a 100-year gap, and Aditi had competed at that edition, finishing tied 41st.
"Obviously, when I started golf, I never dreamt of contending at the Olympics. Golf wasn't even an Olympic sport. You just pick it up, work hard, and have fun every day. And then sometimes, you get here," she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended the Golfer for showcasing her amazing efforts during the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020.
PM Modi had tweeted his wishes to the young Indian, wishing her the best for future endeavours.
“Well played @aditigolf! You have shown tremendous skill and resolve during #Tokyo2020. A medal was narrowly missed but you’ve gone farther than any Indian and blazed a trail. Best wishes for your future endeavours,” the PM had tweeted.
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, also took to Twitter to convey his regards for her efforts.
“Well played, Aditi Ashok! One more daughter of India makes her mark! You have taken Indian golfing to new heights by today's historic performance. You have played with immense calm and poise. Congratulations for the impressive display of grit and skills,” he had shared.
(Additional inputs have been added to this PTI copy)
Edited by Suman Singh