Vinesh Phogat Wins Maiden Medal, Qualifies For Olympics 2020
Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has picked her maiden medal at World Wrestling Championships. She won a bronze medal in the bout of 53 kg freestyle event against two-time world bronze medalist Maria Prevolaraki of Greece. The event was held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday. She is also through to Olympics 2020 as she secured a 53-kg quota seat for the games in Tokyo
- Vinesh Phogat won a bronze medal at the World Wrestling Championships on Wednesday and became the fourth Indian woman wrestler to win a medal at this tournament.
- This is Vinesh’s first medal at the World Wrestling Championships.
- She has previously won gold medals at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
- Vinesh Phogat has qualified for 53-kg Olympic quota 2020 Tokyo Olympics by winning the second repechage round.
Born in Balali and coming from an exclusive wrestler family background, Vinesh Phogat is the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold at both the Commonwealth and Asian Games. However, until now, she had failed to secure a medal at the World Championship in her previous three attempts.
Tokyo Olympics Seat
Earlier in the day, Vinesh Phogat had already secured herself a 53-kg quota in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by defeating world’s number one wrestler and silver medalist Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt of the USA in the second repechage round. She secured a victory of 8-2 over Sarah showcasing brilliant defensive skills in the 53-kg bout. In the repechage round held on the very day, Phogat defeated Ukraine’s Yuliia Khavaldzhy Blahinya with 5-0 scores.
This year, Phogat joined the World Championships on Day five with a brilliant start of 13-0 win over Olympic bronze medallist, Sweden’s Sofia Mattsson. Phogat moved ahead in the tournament only to be defeated by Mayu Mukaida of Japan in pre-quarterfinals with a 7-0 score.
Earlier in the day, Vinesh Phogat had already secured herself a 53-kg quota in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by defeating world’s number one wrestler and silver medalist Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt of the USA in the second repechage round.
However, Mukaida handed over Vinesh a repechage round as she herself moved to the final. With the opportunity in the hand, Vinesh Phogat displayed brilliant skills and won both the repechage rounds, outclassing two excellent wrestlers. The hard work finally paid off as Vinesh Phogat won a bronze medal by defeating Maria Prevolaraki of Greece. Thus the day brought Vinesh Phogat and India a hattrick of victories that create a new history. She has secured a 53-Kg quota birth in the Tokyo Olympics for India and is now only the fourth Indian woman to win a medal at the Wrestling World Championship.
After her victory over the reigning world silver medalist Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt, Vinesh Phogat, who was also compassionately hugged and congratulated by Navjot Kaur, expressed her joy and said, “I am happy and relieved that I am going to Tokyo but it’s not over yet. I have a medal bout and I don’t want to miss that,”
After winning her maiden medal at the world championship, Vinesh has a final and clear focus on the Tokyo Olympics.
Vinesh Phogat is now only the fourth Indian woman to win a medal at the World Wrestling Championships.
Disappointment for others
Seema Bisla lost the Olympic Qualification in the 50kg after her defeat (3-11) to Russia’s Ekaterina Poleshchuk in the second repechage round. In 76 kg category, Kiran loss to Germany’s Aline Rotter-Focken with the nail-biting 4-5 score. While, Sarita Mor, lost her Olympic Qualification bout in 57 Kg category to Anastasia Nachita with the score of 1-5. Navjot Kaur also lost her first round in the 65 Kg category. However, Navjot and Kiran are still in contention for repechage round but Sarita has been ruled out.
Pooja Dhanda reached the semi-final in the 59 kg category with 11-8 win over Asian Champion Yuzuka Inagaki. But, she lost the semi-final to Russia’s Liubov Ovcharova with the score of 10-0. However, she cannot lock an Olympic quota as the 59-kg category is a non-Olympic category.
Picture Credit: TOI
Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv.