Her Olympic dreams may have been crushed far too early in 2016, but it did change the life of Vinesh Phogat.
Vinesh Phogat. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Her Olympic dreams may have been crushed far too early in 2016, but it did change the life of Vinesh Phogat. The freak knee injury in her fight against China's Sun Yanan had done enough damage to leave her behind in trauma. But it made her realize how important things like rest, food and sleep are. "I used to think that if I exercise hard enough, I do not have to worry about anything," she had said before the Asian Games.
But if she continued to follow that mantra, we should not have seen Vinesh 2.0 Monday morning in her opening match against Yanan. The 50kg Freestyle grappler was not afraid to start and took an early lead. But the most important thing was that she was wrestling smartly, and not once the Chinese let her legs touch, the memories of Rio that were perhaps fresh in her mind. In what was a sensational move in the first round, Vinesh struck her opponent aggressively, the Indian took a massive 8-point lead and there was little that Sun Yanan could do to answer.
The route to a medal and with that a gold is not easy. Vinesh will take the world champion from Japan, Yuki Irei. But her great show against Yanan will give the kind of self-confidence a boost that is true that no other opponent would give her. Interestingly, Vinesh also went to the Chinese in the Pro Wrestling League.
Meanwhile Pooja Dhanda qualified for the quarterfinals of the 57kg freestyle wrestling category for women by defeating Sookdongyor Orasa from Thailand.
| Edited by: Suyash Upadhyaya