World Wrestling Championships 2019: Vinesh Phogat bags bronze and books her ticket to Tokyo Olympics
Vinesh Phogat bagged a maiden bronze medal at the World Wrestling Championships 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday by defeating Maria Prevolaraki of Greece, who has been a two-time medallist herself at the prestigious event. Competing in the 53kg event, the 25-year-old became the fifth Indian female wrestler to get a podium finish at this event.
This bronze medal is a special one for the feisty Vinesh Phogat because it has also given her the ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Securing an Olympic quota in the 53kg event after defeating World Number 1 Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt from USA in the second repechage round, Phogat has given the country ample reason to rejoice.
Maria Prevolaraki, however, proved to be a tough opponent and it was a close match with the Indian being forced to grapple harder in order to grab that elusive medal at the Worlds.
In her last three appearances at the World Championships, Phogat could never convert her bouts into a medal finish before her classic Nur-Sultan stint today. This year has already been spectacular for the Haryana-born wrestler as she won three gold medals in the lead-up to the World Championships at the Poland Open, the Spain Open and the Yasar Dogu International.
She also secured a bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships in April. Notably, Phogat has changed her category from 50kg to 53kg 10 months back and the success she has been tasting ever since is incredible.
The World Championships medal is another feather in the cap of Phogat, who is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the country currently. Having won gold medals at the 2014 and the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as a gold and a bronze at the Asian Games, she is definitely a force to reckon with.
With this World Championships bronze medal under her belt, Phogat will be eager to give her all and get a historic medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics next year.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:31 IST