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Asian Games | Injuries are a part of an athlete's career and they only made me stronger, says Vinesh Phogat

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Asian Games | Injuries are a part of an athlete's career and they only made me stronger, says Vinesh Phogat

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SportsCafe Desk


Asian Games Gold medalist Vinesh Phogat has stated that she was determined to win a gold at the Asian games. She has also mentioned that injuries are a part of athletes’ career and her Injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics gave her physical and mental pain but only made her stronger afterward.

Vinesh’s wrestling journey began in 2013 when she won a bronze in the women's freestyle 52 kg category bout in New Delhi at the Asian wrestling championship. After that, she won a gold for women's freestyle wrestling 48kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and a bronze for the same category at the Asian games 2014 in Incheon. However, she was ruled out of the Rio Olympics in 2016 due to a dreadful knee injury due to which she was left in writhering pain which was followed by a long painful period of rehabilitation. However, the injury did not break Phogat’s spirit and she made a strong comeback at the Asian games 2018 in Jakarta by clinching a Gold medal against the same player who beat her in the 2015 Asian championship ( Yuki Erie). 

The injury at the 2016 Olympics not only left her in tremendous physical pain, but she also mourned about all the preparation that had gone down due to unavoidable circumstances. However, she did not let her injury break her down completely and successfully rose over it, started everything again and made a strong comeback. She spoke about how she was sheerly determined to win a gold and settle for nothing less because she had faith and confidence in herself. 

“I had targeted a gold. I had 3-4 silvers at the Asia level. So I was determined to win a gold today. My body responded well. I had trained well and God was also kind to me. Everything fell in place for me today,”  Vinesh said with moist eyes after her win at the Asian Games as she spoke to the TOI.

Vinesh also spoke about the Injury at the 2016 Olympics and how it left her in tears due to the disappointment. She also spoke about how she successfully succumbed over it and rose again.

“Injuries are a part of an athlete's career. It is difficult both emotionally and physically. But I shrugged everything off to deliver some medals recently. Someone has said an athlete becomes strong after an injury and I feel I indeed have become stronger than before,” Vinesh said. 

Vinesh wrestled her first bout against China’s Yahan Sun, the same wrestler against whom she lost her 2016 Olympics bout. Vinesh asserted that she was always a strong athlete and she had to prove her point that she was better than Sun and the bout at the Asian games has been a good opportunity to do the same.

“There was pressure but it was to prove that I am actually stronger than her. I wanted to prove this today because I lost thrice to her before. And I have done this today,” Vinesh said. 

When asked about her idols, Vinesh said that she never really idolized anybody but spoke largely about Sushil Kumar who leaves a positive impact on her. 

“I listen to Sushil ji a lot. Whenever he suggests I take note. In 2014 when I won bronze in Incheon he said 'don't worry, whatever happens, happens for good. Maybe you have something bigger in store’. I always remember this message from him,” Vinesh concluded. 

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