Vinesh Phogat, The First Indian Female Wrestler To Win Gold In Commonwealth and Asian Games For India

Mad4Sports By Isha bhama | 2 min read

Vinesh Phogat

The youngest of the Phogat sisters, Vinesh Phogat, had become a role model to many women throughout the world. Coming from a relatively backward environment, Vinesh Phogat, along with her sisters has set an amazing example for aspiring sportswomen. She is the first Indian woman wrestler, who won gold in both Asian and Common Wealth games, moreover, she is also the first Indian athlete to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Award in 2019. Vinesh, by the age of 27, has earned a great reputation in the world of sport.

How It All Started For Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat is the daughter of wrestler Rajpal Phogat and niece of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat. She suffered his father’s loss at a very young age and was raised by her mother as a single parent. Both Vinesh and her sister were bought up and coached by Mahavir Singh Phogat, after the terrible loss of their father. She says that she was not very keen to pursue wrestling as a child and that his uncle was very strict and he kept pushing all of them but she never felt any pressure to fit into any template. All six of the sisters were trained by Mahavir in their village home in Balali. Kaur, the wife of Mahavir, says “I told my husband not to push the girls into the sport. I was worried about how they will ever get married as pehelwans wearing shorts and cutting their hair”.

 Vinesh Phogat
Source – Vinesh Phogat

Breaking The Stereotypes

Balali village is one of the old-timey villages in Haryana, where the stereotypes about how women are only supposed to take care of their households and nothing else. Breaking such stereotypes, was a tough task for Vinesh Phogat and her sisters. People with narrow minds always have something opposing and degrading to say to women who want to step out and do some good for themselves as well as “Though we came from a family of wrestlers, there were objections from the villagers. But thanks to Geeta didi’s success I didn’t face any problems. By the time I took up the sport, Geeta didi had made her mark in Indian sport. So, thanks to her, now the villagers see us as role models for their kids,” Vinesh Phogat told IANS.

Vinesh Phogat always kept overcoming hurdles in her life. She qualified for the Rio Olympics after defeating Polish wrestler, Iwona Matkowska, but lost the quarterfinal round to sun Yanan from China because of a dangerous anterior cruciate ligament tear in her knee. That Injury nearly destroyed her career.

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Road To Success

Vinesh Phogat won the gold medal in women’s 50 kg freestyle wrestling on Gold Coast at Commonwealth Games 2018. She won the gold medal in  Asian Games 2018  and became the first-ever Indian woman wrestler to win gold in the Asian Games. She beat Japan’s Yuki Irie in Women’s 50 kg gold medal match 6–2 in Freestyle Wrestling. Vinesh Phogat won gold in Yasar Dogu International held in 2019 by defeating Ekaterina Poleshchuk of Russia. She defeated Luisa Elizabeth Valverde in Rome Ranking Series and won gold in Jan 2020. She won the gold medal at the Poland Open 2021 in the women’s 53 kg event. She had earned many more medals with her hard work and passion.

 Vinesh Phogat
Source – Vinesh Phogat

Current Life And Upcoming Events

Vinesh tied knots with Somvir Rathee in 2018, who was her long-time boyfriend and also a fellow wrestler. I’ll start small and reach the top again” says Vinesh Phogat after her injury in the Rio Olympics.

 Vinesh Phogat
Source – Vinesh Phogat

This depicts that she is not going to back down and will aim higher on the upcoming events of 2022 & more ahead. She is leading a nice life and she says she wants to write an autobiography to inspire the youth. It is so great to see such an inspirational person who wants to do more for her country and wants to improve young lives with her encouraging story. Mad4India wishes Vinesh Phogat our best wishes for her future endeavors.

If you loved this story, read a story – The Inspirational Story Of Hima Das, The First Indian Woman Athlete Gold Medalist.

To know more about Vinesh Phogat, please check her Instagram.

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