The Olympics is known for throwing surprises, but the Indians woke up early Saturday (7th August) morning wondering if their 3-day-old dream - Aditi Ashok winning a medal at the Tokyo Games - would be still alive come afternoon. The Indian golfer has shown remarkable poise in keeping pace with everyone in the tournament and is on the cusp of a historic medal but standing in her way are Lydia Ko and Nelly Korda.
The three have dominated the leaderboard since Round 3 and, at the moment, it certainly looks like a 3-way battle for the gold medal. Lydia Ko, the Korean-born New Zealand golfer, is an exceptional golfer with a rich pedigree.
Who is Lydia Ko?
The 24-year-old is a golfing prodigy and a former World No 1. She became the youngest golfer to achieve the feat (17 years and 9 months) when she clinched the top spot in February 2015, following her success in the LPGA circuit. She won the The Evian Championship in 2015 and dominated the ANA Inspiration in 2021. The latter explains her good form coming into the Olympics 2021 and challenging for top honors.
Lydia Ko was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2014. She also featured in the EspnW Impact25 list of 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sports (2014 and 2015).
Lydia Ko's unexpected decline
Standing 5 feet 5 inches tall, Lydia Ko isn't usually the tallest in the field but that has certainly not affected her performance. She is a right-hander and likes to set the pace right from the beginning. That said, despite early success in her career, Lydia Ko had a difficult few years from 2017. The results dried up and many concluded that the star's early-age success had somewhat stalled the prospect of a fantastic career.
The golfer also suggested she would move away from the sport for a career in psychology or criminology if things didn't go smoothly for her in golf. But things are certainly working out for her at the Kasumigaseki Country Club as she might be within touching distance of an Olympic medal.