Time for us to be stronger than ever: Vinesh Phogat

The wrestler has been giving it all to peak at the right time for the Tokyo Olympics but has to wait for some more time to make it count.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

Star Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat will have to bide her time to make an impact at the Tokyo Olympics after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the decision to postpone the Games.

Vinesh Phogat, who had also qualified for Rio 2016, only to see her run in the competition ended through injury, was looking forward to grappling at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Everybody knows that competing at the Olympics is the toughest test for an athlete, but I believe waiting for an opportunity to be on that stage is tougher,” she said on her Twitter page.

However, she also realized the gravity of the situation and was ready to regroup and do it all over again when the Tokyo Olympics eventually kicks off.

“We need to summon all our reserves of determination, refocus, and work towards our goals,” she said.

“While there is more to this chapter, a new story is already being written, but we will overcome. Now is the time for all of us to be stronger than ever, keep fighting these extraordinary circumstances.”

Vinesh Phogat’s coach, Hungarian Woller Akos chose to view the extended period as a way to be more ready for the Tokyo Olympics. 

“We need to look at the positive side with Vinesh. We have got one more year to prepare against the best opponents,” he told the Press Trust of India.

“An athlete needs to be a maximalist. She is ready to follow our dreams and preparation.”

A solid start to 2020

The Indian wrestler is undoubtedly one of the nation’s foremost medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics, having sealed her spot as early as September last year with a hard-fought bronze at the World Championships in Nur-sultan, her first at the event.

She had also begun 2020 on a bright note as she won gold at the Matteo Pellicone Memorial in Rome in January before sealing bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships held at home a month later.

Vinesh Phogat had also made special arrangements to train in Ukraine this year ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and will now have to rework her training schedule amid an enforced lockdown due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.