She won a gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, and she also claimed a bronze medal in the 2017 Asian Championships. However, Ritu Phogat made a big decision about her career and switched to Mixed Martial Arts last year.
In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda's Facebook page, Ritu disclosed that she did not have the guts to talk to her father about this decision. The 26-year-old from Haryana stated that she approached her sisters to convince him before signing with ONE Championship in Singapore.
I told my sisters that I did not want to miss this opportunity: Ritu Phogat
Ritu Phogat had won her first MMA fight against Nam Hee Kim in November 2019. She had come to India for a holiday before the lockdown period. However, as the situation became tough, her coach called her back to Singapore on 15th March.
The 2017 World U-23 Championships silver medallist has been in Singapore for the last six months. Ritu mentioned that she has been missing her family, but that she has tried her best to divert her attention to training.
When asked about her father's reaction to her decision to switch to Mixed Martial Arts, Ritu replied:
"I had not consulted with my dad. I was afraid if he would allow me to switch to MMA because everyone was into amateur wrestling. I spoke to my sisters about this decision. They told me that the 2020 Olympics were coming soon, but I convinced them by saying that, 'I have got an opportunity to do a thing I am interested in. I don't want to miss this golden chance.'
"So, my sisters then talked with my father, and he backed me by saying that no matter what sport you play, the aim should be to make the country proud," she continued.
Ritu Phogat signed off by accrediting her success in MMA to her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat.
Published 27 Sep 2020, 00:26 IST