- Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat became the first from the country to qualify for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- The player booked India's spot in the 53kg category after defeating Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt 8-2.
- She will now face 2017 World Championship silver medalist Maria Prevolaraki of Greece.
Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat became the first from the country to qualify for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The player booked India’s spot in the 53kg at next year’s sporting extravaganza by beating Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt of the United States of America in the second repechage round at the ongoing 2019 World Wrestling Championship. The competition serves as a qualifying event for the Olympics.
Arguably the country’s biggest medal hope at the Olympics, Vinesh thumped the returning world silver medalist Sarah by 8-2 to lockdown a berth for herself at Tokyo. The victory also means that Vinesh has advanced to the bronze-medal contest against Greece’s Maria Prevolaraki. The 27-year-old has previously won a bronze at the 2017 World Championships.
Earlier in the day, Phogat had beat Blahinya 5-0 in the 1st repechage round after being pushed out of the race for the gold on Tuesday.
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Congratulations Champion! 👏👏👏🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/hnv0XcD8VE
— Dept of Sports MYAS (@IndiaSports) September 18, 2019
The wrestler had suffered a pre-quarter final defeat at the hands of Japan’s reigning champion Mayu Mukaida at the World Championship.
Nonetheless, Vinesh started her campaign at the Worlds on Day 5 with a commanding 13-0 win over Olympic bronze medallist Sofia Mattsson of Sweden. However, she then suffered a 7-0 thrashing by Mayu Mukaida.
However, Vinesh won a lifeline, a repechage round. And she salvaged the chance handed to her by winning against Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt.
Having seen one wrestler qualify for the Olympics, India will have high hopes from Bajrang Punia as well.
Want to know which Indian athletes have made it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?