Eye On Olympics, Wrestler Vinesh Phogat Changes Weight Category
Star wrestler and the first Indian ever – man or woman – to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award, Vinesh Phogat is now eyeing the Tokyo Olympics. Thinking ahead, India’s latest sports sensation who is known for her arrogance on the mat, has decided to change her weight category to 53 kg from her preferred 50 kg. She is currently prepping for the ongoing Dan Kolov tournament in Bulgaria. She is aiming to lower the risk of injuries and remain in wrestling for a longer period, Scroll.in reported.
“I will be competing in the 53 kg category this year and possibly at the World Championships and Olympics as well if I qualify,” Vinesh told Scroll.in from Bulgaria. “It is a decision that my coach Woller Akos and me have taken after a lot of thought. Let’s see how it goes.”
India’s gold medallist in the Asiad and Commonwealth Games has been competing in the 48 kg category since her senior international debut.
A Fab Year So Far
2018 was the young wrestler’s year. She clinched the gold medal in the 50 kg freestyle at the Asian Games in Jakarta and become the first Indian woman wrestler to do so. Avenging a heartbreaking loss at the Olympics two years ago, she also won gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, a silver in the 2018 Asian Championships in Bishkek.
Before heading off to the Asian Games, she bagged gold at the Spanish Grand Prix in Madrid in July. Vinesh won the gold medal in the women’s freestyle 50 kg category and dominated the stage, conceding just one point in five bouts.
Olympics Failure & Comeback
In 2016, Vinesh (then aged 21) was one of the favourites to win a medal for India at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But the youngest from a family of distinguished women wrestlers had met with a life-threatening knee injury which forced her tournament to an end in the quarterfinals. After rigorous training, she came back badass and knocked down opponents.
Vinesh has won many wrestling accolades. These include winning silver at the Commonwealth wrestling championship held at Johannesburg, South Africa, and a gold medal in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. A bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games and Silver medal at 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships are her other achievements so far.
Picture credit: TOI