Who is Aditi Ashok? The Indian golfer in contention for a medal at Tokyo Olympics
Aditi Ashok is in the news for her stellar show at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and is ranked second after the penultimate round of play
The name Aditi Ashok has evoked a lot of interest amongst Indians over the past few days. The 23-year-old golfer has been in the news for her stellar show at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and is ranked second after the penultimate round of play at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Now, golf is not a very popular sport in India and not many in the country even understand its basics. So, how did a young girl from India take up golf, reached the Olympics and is now on the cusp of a podium finish at the world's biggest sporting spectacle?
Born in the city of Bengaluru in 1998, Aditi Ashok took up golf at the age of just 5 years. Her parents, Ashok Gudlamani and Mash used to take her to a restaurant which oversaw a golf course and that's how her love affair with this unusual sport started.
Both Aditi and her parents were intrigued by what they saw on the course and started playing the sport together, the 23-year-old had said to ESPN.
The sport soon turned into more than a fun activity for the young Aditi Ashok. As soon as she grabbed the basics of the sport, she started excelling. There were no restrictions from her family either, who allowed their girl to continue what she loved.
Having won her first national title at the age of just 9 years, Aditi was sure that golf is something she wanted to pursue as her career. She did face a lot of struggles coping up with academics, but constant support from school and friends meant that she could play golf without worrying much about it.
Aditi Ashok raked up a lot of amateur wins in the international circuit before turning professional in the year 2016, and the decision worked wonders for her.
She became the first Indian to win the Lalla Aicha School Tour and qualified for the Ladies European Tour (LET) in 2016.
Even though she had such an impressive track record earlier, it was her appearance at the Rio Olympics that shot her to fame in India. At the age of 18 years, Aditi Ashok was the youngest golfer, men or women, to compete in Rio where golf made its Olympic return after almost 112 years.
The 23-year-old has since gone on to win multiple professional titles, including two in 2016. She became the first Indian woman to clinch a LET title when she won the Hero Indian Open, and then followed it up with the Qatar Ladies Open a couple of weeks later.
Having turned professional just five years back, Aditi Ashok is currently ranked number 200 in the world.
Yes, a world number 200 is in contention for an Olympic medal and is giving the world number 1 Nelly Korda, a run for her money for the gold medal!