Vinesh Phogat lashes out at critics after World Wrestling Championships

Wrestling - Commonwealth Games: Day 9
Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat. (PC: Getty Images)

Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat took to social media to denounce the criticism she faced during the World Wrestling Championships.

Fans widely criticized Vinesh Phogat after her 0-7 loss to Mongolia's Khulan Batkhuyag in the qualification round.

The Indian ace wrestler, however, found a way back through the repechage rounds and eventually won the bronze medal without conceding a single point.

In the process, Vinesh became the first Indian female wrestler to win two World Championship medals.

Firing a salvo at fans and experts, Vinesh Phogat said athletes are not 'robots' and called on fellow athletes to keep working hard so that the uncalled-for criticism culture ends.

She took to Twitter and wrote:

“Athletes are humans and while being an athlete is a huge part of who we are, it doesn't mean we work like robots every time a tournament is announced.
"Not sure if this culture is in every country or this is just India where we have so many experts sitting at home. Every individual, professional or not, has chased hardships, struggles and challenges through their journey."

Vinesh Phogat questions unrelenting scrtiny on athletes

Vinesh Phogat said the unrelenting scrutiny on athletes can be discouraging at times.

She opined that winning and losing are part and parcel of the game and athletes try harder every time.

“Why are we as athletes answerable to them about every detail when all athletes get back is comments on how they should train, what they should do instead of support and encouragement when times are tough.
"It is very discouraging when people assume they can comment on when athletes should stop or end their career, when they should play and not play.
"A win always does not mean that an athlete has done anything extra extraordinary and a loss does not mean that the athlete has not tried during that game.
"Winning and losing is a part of every athlete's journey and the athletes try hard each time," she added.

Read: World Wrestling Championships: Bajrang Punia overcomes head injury, wins fourth medal to become most successful Indian wrestler at Worlds

She also said that critics have no idea about the efforts and resources that go into the preparations for an athlete.

“It is very easy to comment on these things because for them it's just one day of their life after watching a match, what they don't realise is these things can seriously drag along and affect the athletes state, their mood especially in difficult times.
"Things are great with social media now connecting all fans and supporters but times were simpler when social media was not involved to spread these comments and negative criticism," she wrote.

Phogat asked fellow Indian athletes to keep dreaming and working hard and hoped that unnecessary criticism would end soon.

“Here's to all my fellow athletes who have the courage to repeatedly put themselves through a difficult journey and show compassion towards their dream without fearing people.
"My dear athletes, we are all on the same page and have similar journeys. Hopefully, someday we will try to change this culture with our consistent efforts, courage and dedication," she said.

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