Golfer Aditi Ashok may have narrowly missed out on a Olympic gold medal, but she certainly won the hearts of millions on Saturday. Overnight sole second, the 200th ranked player in the world 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 world number one Nelly Korda of the USA took gold with a four-round total of 17-under 267.
But even as countless individuals cheer at what has been India's best ever performance at the showpiece, most have been won over by the fact that her mother was her caddie. In case you were wondering, her father had been the caddie during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"Shout-out to Aditi Ashok: 200th player in the world. Her caddie at Tokyo 2020 was her mother. Fought until the end for a medal in golf," tweeted the official Olympic Games handle.
While Ashok has not played many tournaments on the LPGA, she fought like a battle-hardened pro, holding her own and exceeding many other pros. She had made her Olympic golfing debut as an 18-year-old at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. At the time, her father Gudlamani Ashok had been her caddie. This time it was her mother's turn, and visuals show her cheerfully carrying her bag and giving bits of advice to guide Aditi to a near-podium finish.
"I think when my dad's there he knows my game a lot more, probably sometimes more than I know myself, so I always feel compelled to rely on him sometimes," Aditi had told golfchannel.com before the Olympics.
"My mom's there, I can ask her anything, but in terms of like golf advice she may not be able to help me as much as my dad. I guess I'm committing to my decisions more and being more decisive on my own," Aditi had said.
Take a look at the social media reactions:
Golf returned to Olympics in 2016 after over a 100-year gap and Aditi had competed at that edition, finishing tied 41st. Having played at the Youth Olympics, she also has a string of records to her name. The youngest to win the Ladies European Tour (LET) Qualifying School, she became the first Indian to win on the Ladies European Tour, when she claimed the 2016 Hero Women's Indian Open. She now has 18 Major appearances, the most by any Indian - men or women.