Sangita Phogat is an Indian wrestler who competes in the 59 kg freestyle category. She belongs to the famed wrestling family, ‘the Phogats’. She is a silver medalist at the National Championships.
|Full Name||Sangita Mahavir Phogat|
|Nick Name||Phogat Sisters|
|Sports Category||Freestyle Wrestling|
|Weight Category||59 kg|
|Age||19 (5 March 1998)|
|Major Teams Featured For||India, Delhi Sultans|
PHOGAT – When one hears the name, Wrestling is the word that instantly strikes the mind. And why not? After the 2016 blockbuster by the name Dangal, the term ‘Phogat’ and more precisely, ‘Phogat Sisters’ has become a household name.
A famous line from another of blockbusters, Spider-man, goes like this, “With power comes great responsibility.” But for one of the youngest ‘Phogats’, it’s a great name (and legacy) that brings great responsibility. This is Sangita Phogat, the youngest daughter of the wrestling bastion Mahavir Phogat.
For the better part of her life, Sangita (or Sangeeta) Phogat lived in the silhouette of her glorious siblings. Given that she is the youngest, she not only has big expectations but having high achieving sisters does lead to inevitable comparisons. Three of her eldest sisters are Olympians and two World Champions. Her siblings have a total of 9 Asian Championship medals and all of them are National Champs.
Unfortunately, Sangita is not one of them, yet. At 19, she is just entering the sport. A silver at the last year’s competition is the best she has to show for the time being.
But that’s not to say she is the least talented. In fact, it could be just the opposite of that. She has started showing signs of brilliance and fighting spirit that was so much a trademark of Geeta Phogat, her eldest sister.
A Star in Making
For starters, take one the Pro Wrestling League matches when Sangeeta was representing Delhi Sultans. She was facing a much senior Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of UP Dangal. More importantly, apart from she had tons of additional experience, she was a reigning world champion. Vanesa was also an Olympian, having represented her country at the 2012 London Olympics. However, none of that mattered.
Sangita played one of her best matches in the contest, defeating the 25-year-old Belarusian wrestler by 7-4.
She started the first round by conceding a 0-4 advantage to her opponent. However, from then on, Sangita held her composure. She was cautious while defending and ferocious in the attack. As a result, she went on to scalp all the 7 points on the trot to win the match.
Among those points, the point from a slick leg-sweep takedown was the highlight of Sangita’s exuberant play.
Such was the impact of her win that praises were showered immediately after the match, most notably from the women she looks up to – Geeta and Vinesh.
In spite of the two being a part of Vanesa’s team UP Dangals, Vinesh expressed her confusion, as they did not know whom to follow, their teammate or their younger sister. Sangita too expressed her happiness of defeating a world champion. She also added that the victory would ‘motivate me to do well at the Asian Games.’
Future- All Eyes on the World Wrestling Championships
Although Asian Games campaign was a disappointing affair, Sangita had a lot to learn from the event. Having turned only 19 earlier this year, she has a lot more to learn before the country can expect medals from the latest Phogat sensation.
Sangita will now be focusing her vision on the World Wrestling Championships, that would be held later this year. The 2018 edition would be hosted by Hungary’s capital city of Budapest.
India will pin high hopes from their 30-member contingent, that includes this year’s Khel Ratna nominee, Bajrang Punia, Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik, Commonwealth gold medalist, Vinesh Phogat and her cousin Ritu Phogat among others.
Sangita Phogat too would be traveling with her esteemed sister wrestlers. She will compete in the 59 kg freestyle category of the wrestling extravaganza.
The Worlds will commence from 20th October and would go on till 28th October.
Whether Sangita will follow the footsteps of her famous Phogat sisters remains to be seen, but she sure will be an interesting Indian to watch for.
Sangita Phogat was born to the wrestling maestro and Dronacharya awardee, Mahavir Singh Phogat and Daya Shobha Kaur on 5th March 1998 in Balali, Haryana. She has 4 siblings, 3 elder sisters (Geeta, Babita, and Ritu) and a younger brother named Dushyant. Sangita also has two cousin sisters from her uncle, Vinesh Phogat and Priyanka Phogat.
Mahavir Phogat, a senior Olympic coach, trains all the six Phogats in their hometown in Bhiwani district.
Geeta Phogat is India’s first wrestling gold medalist in the Commonwealth Games. Vinesh, her cousin, too won gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games. Babita Phogat also won gold medals at these events, in the 55 kg category. Priyanka Phogat won a silver at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Bangkok in 2016.
Last but not least, Ritu is a national champion.
All the 6 sisters are popularly known as the ‘Phogat Sisters’