The 53 kg wrestler, who took home the gold at the 2018 Asian Games, said she had injured her left knee and would need surgery on it on Friday in Mumbai.
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Vinesh Phogat Withdraws from Asian Games Due to Injured Knee: Surgery and Replacement
A knee ailment has forced Vinesh Phogat to withdraw from the Asian Games. The 53 kg champion in re-election revealed her ailment on Tuesday and stated surgery will be on Friday. “On August 13, I had a left knee injury while working out. The doctor informed me that sadly surgery is the only way for me to recover after doing the scans and exams,” Phogat said in a statement.
“On August 17, I shall have surgery in Mumbai. It was my goal to help India keep the Asian Games gold medal I earned there in 2018. But sadly, I can no longer participate due to my injury,” she stated. Additionally, it disqualifies her from competing in the selection trials for the World Championships, which will be held in Belgrade the following month on August 25 and 26.
“I’d want to ask all of my supporters to stick with me so that I may soon make a strong mat return and be ready for the Paris 2024 Olympics. I get a lot of strength from your support, the 28-year-old remarked. Antim Panghal, a rising star who won the 53kg Asian Games selection trials, will now be added to the Hangzhou roster in Phogat’s place. The wrestler who had won the junior world championship has filed a plea with the Delhi High Court against the decision of the wrestling’s ad hoc panel to give Phogat direct selection for the Asian Games.
Vinesh Phogat’s Absence and Ad Hoc Panel Controversy
A member of the ad hoc panel said that Phogat had not yet spoken with them. “We also learned through her remark on social media that she hasn’t sent us a letter yet. Antim is the backup, and she will take her position,” he added. In the wrestlers’ protest against previous federation (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who was accused of harassing female wrestlers, Phogat played a significant role. A Delhi court is hearing the matter.
After the wrestlers requested extra time to prepare after the lengthy delay caused by the agitation, the ad-hoc tribunal excused Phogat and bronze medalist from the Tokyo Olympics Bajrang Punia from the Asiad trials. He and Sakshi Malik were also prominent figures in the protest. The Delhi high court received a petition from wrestlers in their weight classes protesting the ad-hoc panel’s judgment. Their argument was rejected. The two wrestlers were not granted an exemption for the world championship trials, which will take place on August 25 and 26.
Vinesh Phogat’s Road to Olympic Qualification Amidst Challenges
The first of three events that qualify athletes for the Olympics is the worlds, which takes place from September 16 to 24. Early in the next year, the other two qualifying competitions will be held, and Phogat will be expecting to return by then. Since the world championships in September of last year, Phogat has not competed and has only sometimes trained since the Jantar Mantar sit-in protest started in January. Last month in Budapest, Phogat had planned to compete again in the international ranking series, but sickness forced him to withdraw at the last minute. She won gold at the Commonwealth Games and bronze at the World Championships last year because she was in great shape.
Vinesh is a fairly seasoned wrestler, therefore it’s a major loss for the Indian squad. Antim will, nevertheless, have an excellent chance to compete on a large platform, according to national women’s team coach Virender Dahiya. Vineesh has battled through a number of injuries. She may make a good comeback since she is so resilient and committed to training, according to Dahiya, who helped her last year when she returned after receiving harsh criticism after her defeat in Tokyo. She still has the desire to earn an Olympic gold, and that will motivate her, he said.
Why have a second trial?
However, national coaches argued that it was illogical to organize another trial so close to two important events. They had proposed that a trial may be conducted amongst the four Asian Games semifinalists if necessary. The ad hoc panel has, however, announced comprehensive Worlds selection trials.
This month, you have already participated in one tryout for the Asian Games. Why hang onto someone for such a little period of time? The world championships and the Asian Games will follow each other. Thus, close to the tournaments, our wrestlers will undergo the weight-cut procedure many times. Injuries are more likely to occur before the Games. And there is still no indication of a national camp, and no training has begun, according to a national coach who spoke on the condition of anonymity.