The Phogat sisters need no introduction. They have literally conquered the Indian wrestling arena. Every sister has won laurels for the country and continued the tradition. Inspired by her sisters, Babita and Geeta Phogat, as well as cousin Vinesh, Ritu too took a plunge in the wrestling world. After proving her mettle, she is now dabbling into something new and super exciting.
Wondering what? Read on to know more in the exciting Ritu Phogat biography that we present today!
Ritu Phogat Biography
Freestyle Wrestling (48 kg)
Date of Birth
2 May 1994
Mahavir Singh Phogat
Mahavir Singh Phogat, Daya Kaur
Family Background and Early Life
Ritu’s father, Mahavir Singh Phogat is a former wrestler himself. The Dronarcharya Awardee left his job to completely focus on his daughters’ training. Her mother Daya Kaur, is a housewife. Ritu has three sisters and two cousins. All of them are wrestlers. Her elder sister Geeta, Babita and cousin Vinesh Phogat have already won numerous international honours. Ritu has one brother, Dushyant Phogat.
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The inspiring journey of Phogat sisters has been beautifully portrayed in the Aamir Khan movie, Dangal. In an interview with The Hindu, Ritu explained how perfectly the movie told their story without deviating much from the facts.
[Tweet “The movie is 99 per cent real. My father is much more ‘hanikarak’ (injurious) than his portrayal in the movie (chuckles). And yes, since it’s a movie, there are elements of fiction as well, but that doesn’t discredit the representation of reality.”]
Her coach and father, Mahavir Singh Phogat was a quite a task master. The girls had to come up with various excuses to skip the training. However, they always respected their father’s dedication and worked hard. Ritu gives him full credit for her success.
Though the girls had firm support and guidance of their father, it wasn’t easy, especially at the beginning. Coming from a village where girls were killed even before they were born, the Phogat family has truly broken the conservative shackles of the society.
The family faced a lot of resistance from the village patriarchs. All of them were ostracized for going against the norm. In spite of all this, Mahavir Singh Phogat bravely continued training all his daughters. The result of his determination is visible to the entire world now.
After Babita and Geeta achieved success, perceptions started changing in the village. Today, the family is not only receiving adoration and encouragement, but the villagers are also sending their own daughters for training.
Ritu Phogat’s Wrestling Journey
Ritu became the National Wrestling Champion in 2015. She defended her title by winning the 2016 Championship as well. She also won the gold medal at the Singapore Wrestling Championship. She has consistently participated in the 48 kg category.
Ritu’s winning spree continued with a silver in World U-23 Wrestling Championships, Poland.
Pro Wrestling League
Jaipur Ninjas signed on Ritu for a staggering INR 36 lakh. She became the most expensive female wrestler in the league with this deal.
A New Beginning with MMA
Its time for a new journey a new challenge a new beginning but the goal will remain the same – to represent my country and win championships for my country. Things won't be so easy but when the going gets tough the tough gets going. #mma #mmafighter #mmatraining #one #Onedream pic.twitter.com/OgJWsGz8wP
— RITU PHOGAT (@PhogatRitu) February 26, 2019
In February 2019, Ritu quit wrestling and decided to pursue MMA. She has always been fascinated by MMA and is very excited for this new chapter of her life. Her family has also whole-heartedly supported her decision. She signed up with ONE Championship and was quoted by InsideSport,
“It is both an honour and a privilege to join ONE Championship, the best and biggest martial arts organization in the world. Wrestling will always be my first love, but I feel that it is time to expand my horizons.”
“I am excited to compete against the best mixed martial artists in the world and to bring glory and pride to my home country. I also look to prove that Indian martial arts is truly world-class. Thank you, ONE Championship, for the opportunity to share my talent on the global stage.”
Now she is going to focus on being India’s first MMA champion and has moved to train in Singapore under Evolve.
We wish Ritu all the very best for this chapter of her life. Her firm resolve, strong base, and indomitable spirit will bring her success in everything that she pursues.
Interesting Facts about Ritu Phogat
- With so many wrestling champions in the family itself, Ritu doesn’t need any inspiration from outside! Her sisters and cousins and of course her father, are her icons.
- “Though both Geeta and Babita inspire me a lot, I really look upto Geeta. She is an inspiring figure. And, my other cousin sister Vinesh is close to my age and is also in the same weight category. You could say we have competition in that sense. We also practice together and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Whenever I lose against her, I work harder, as my father says that whoever works harder, will shine.” she told The Hindu in an interview.
- An almond shake prepared by her father is an integral part of Ritu’s breakfast. Ritu also includes a lot of curd and milk in her diet.
- Ritu loves cooking. It helps her relax and have healthy food, especially when she is traveling.
- Aamir Khan, who portrayed the Phogat patriarch, Mahavir Singh Phogat, in the movie Dangal is her favorite actor. Sanjeeda Sheikh is her favorite actress.
- Her favorite musicians include Honey Singh and Justin Bieber.
Ritu Phogat Medals and Records
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Commonwealth Wrestling Championship
|2017||New Delhi||48 kg||Bronze|
World U23 Championships
— RITU PHOGAT (@PhogatRitu) February 28, 2019
— RITU PHOGAT (@PhogatRitu) February 22, 2019
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