May 29, 2022
News Wrestling

Vinesh Phogat becomes the first woman wrestler to quality for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Vinesh Phogat becomes the first woman wrestler to quality for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

India’s star wrestler Vinesh Phogat has won the 2020 Olympic quota by reaching the third round of repechage at the ongoing World Wrestling Championships. The World Wrestling Championships started on Tuesday, but she was knocked out of the gold medal race after losing to defending champion Mayu Mukeda of Japan. Luckily for her, she qualified for repechage round after Mayu reached the finals in women’s 53 kg category.

Its worth mentioning that a wrestler can compete in repechage round if the wrestler whom he/she lost to, reaches the finals.

Phogat achieved the Olympic quota by defeating USA’s Sarah Ann 8–2 in the second bout of repechage and will now face Maria Prevolaraki tonight for the Bronze medal. Earlier, Vinesh defeated Yulia Khawaldji 5–0 in a one-sided match in the first round of repechage.

The 25-year-old is the first Indian woman wrestler to bag gold in both Commonwealth and Asian games. However, she has failed to bad the top honours at World Championship.

She made a brilliant start in the first round by beating Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sophia Matteson 13–0, but could not keep up with her aggressive strategy and lost 0–7 to world champion from Japan.

The Olympic journey continues

Vinesh was India’s best bet for a medal at 2016 Rio Olympics and she was going strong until a career ending injury took her down. She suffered a defeat in the quarter finals to Sun Yanan of China owing to a knee injury, which shook her dreams of an Olympic medal. However, she recovered in quick succession and clinched a gold at 2018 Commonwealth and Asian games to announce her return in stupendous form.

The Bhiwani born wrestler has won gold in the this year’s Yasar Dogu International by defeating Ekaterina Poleshchuk of Russia. She also clinched the top honours at Poland Open wrestling tournament in Warsaw.

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