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Tokyo 2020: India's Aditi Ashok Misses Women's Golf Bronze Medal by Whisker, Sets Twitter on Fire

Aditi Ashok of India in action
© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLE

In a country where golf is hardly recognised, let alone being popular, a young Indian woman golfer named Aditi Ashok, brought the sport into the limelight after her scintillating show in the final round of the Women's Golf Individual Strokeplay at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

Immediately after 23-year-old golfing sensation Aditi Ashok narrowly missed out on a bronze medal, Twitter erupted to salute her sensational display in Japan's capital.

While some Indian fans dubbed her inspiring fourth-place finish as "one of the greatest Olympic performances", others doffed their hats to Aditi for her grit, determination, and resolve.

But what actually drew ooh's and aah's from Twitterati was her ability to challenge the very best in the sport, after she went toe-to-toe with World No. 1 and eventual champion Nelly Korda of the United States and former top-ranked player, Lydia Ko of New Zealand, who finished with a silver medal.

Such was her performance that it was not just Ashok who was trending on Twitter, but terms like "Bogey", "Birdie", and "Par" which are associated with golf, also gained immense popularity in India due to her heroics at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Aditi's heartbreaking loss came after she began the final day of the event in spectacular fashion, firing five birdies - on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 13th, and 14th holes, to join the American Korda at the top of the leaderboard.

However, she dropped to the fourth spot on the 15th before regaining her place in the top 3 on the 16th.

Then came the upsetting moment for Aditi as players were forced to leave the course due to thunderstorms with only two more holes to play for.

When play resumed approximately an hour later, Aditi had lost her momentum, missing an easy birdie on the 17th hole and then failing to deliver a long birdie putt, chipping it by the narrowest of margins to end the final round at 3-under 68.

Despite the heartbreak, Aditi's fourth-position finish is a major milestone in her career, considering almost nobody expected her to progress beyond the first round in Tokyo.

Also, it is a major improvement on her performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she ended the competition in 41st place.

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