Vinesh Phogat: Biography of India’s Golden Wrestling Girl

6 min read
Vinesh Phogat celebrates after winning the gold medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat is an Indian wrestler and comes from a famed wrestling family of Phogats. Geeta and Babita Phogat are her cousin sisters. She is a double Commonwealth gold medalist and recently won a gold medal at the 2018 Asian games in Jakarta.

Vinesh Phogat KreedOn
Vinesh Phogat
Full NameVinesh Phogat
Age24 (as of 2018)
Home TownBalali, Haryana
SportFreestyle wrestling
Height1.65 m
Weight Category 48 kg
CoachMahavir Singh Phogat


She started wrestling at the tender age of nine. Coming from a family of star wrestlers, it became a way of life for her.

Her uncle Mahavir Singh Phogat has taken the role of her father, coach, and guide. In a land dispute, her father got murdered. She started training with her sister and cousins.

She won a bronze medal in the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championships and a silver medal in 2013 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. The year 2014 announced her arrival on the wrestling stage with a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. She won a lot of fame and recognition after this amazing feat.

Then, she won a bronze at the Asian Games 2014 in Incheon. A knee injury in the Rio Olympics disheartened her, as well as the entire nation. Not the one to be held back because of setbacks, she bounced back stronger and made us proud by winning a gold medal at 21st Commonwealth Games in 2018

Earlier this year, she won a gold at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.

    • It is simply impossible to talk about wrestling without discussing the Phogat sisters. We can call them the first family of wrestling in India. In a state infamous for female foeticide and gender equality, Mahavir Singh Phogat has set an example, that’ll inspire the entire country. He trained his four of his own daughters, along with two of his brother’s daughters, and literally revolutionized wrestling in India. The inspiring journey of this wrestling family reached the masses through the Aamir Khan movie – Dangal.
    • The two elder sisters Geeta and Babita have gained recognition at the international stage and are commonwealth medalists. In 2018, their cousin Vinesh joined them in the Commonwealth feat. Now let us glimpse into the life of this rising star from the Phogat family.


  • Born in a small village called Balali in Haryana, India, a career in wrestling is predestined for Vinesh. She has a belief that she is meant for great things in life. She couldn’t be truer. Life has been far from ordinary for this girl, who has grappled with some very hard personal setbacks. Vinesh has proven, at every stage of her life, that she is a fighter. This unbreakable spirit and determination make Vinesh, a truly special wrestling champion in the making.
Vinesh Phogat with Family KreedOn
Vinesh Phogat with Family
  • After her father, Rajpal Phogat, was murdered in a land dispute, her uncle Mahavir Singh Phogat took her, and her sister Priyanka, under his wings. He was a father as well as a coach for both the girls. They started training with their cousins, Geeta, Babita, Ritu, and Sangita.
  • 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.
  • The exposure she received since an impressionable age shaped Vinesh’s character. Starting at a very young age of 9, wrestling became a way of life for her. Her eldest cousin, Geeta is a huge support system for her. She still makes it a point to call her before every competition.

Vinesh Phogat – The Journey

Vinesh Phogat bout in Rio KreedOn
Vinesh Phogat bout in Rio

Asian Wrestling Championships – 2013

    • She beat Nanami Irie of Japan in the first round.
    • Unfortunately, she lost to Tatyana Amanzhol of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals.
    • As Tatyana Amanzhol went on to qualify for the finals, Vinesh got a chance to fight in the repechage round.
  • She went on to win the bronze in the women’s freestyle 51 kg category by defeating Tho-Kaew Sriprapa of Thailand.

Commonwealth Wrestling Championships – 2013

    • Vinesh participated in the freestyle 51 kg category in the wrestling championship.
    • Unfortunately, she lost to Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria in the finals and had to be satisfied with a silver medal.
  • Coming at an early stage of her wrestling career, this silver gave Vinesh a lot of confidence and motivation to win the gold, which she soon did.

Commonwealth Games 2014

    • In the CWG 2014, held in Glasgow, Vinesh represented India in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category.
    • She was very commanding in the quarterfinals and beat Rosemary Nwerke of Nigeria.
    • In the semifinals, she ousted Jasmine Mian of Canada.
    • The final obstacle for the coveted gold was Yana Rattigan of England. Despite her opponent being a favorite, Vinesh defeated her and won the gold.
  • It was a proud moment for not only the Phogat family, or the people of Haryana, but also the entire nation!

Asian Games 2014

    • Vinesh defeated Yongmi Pak from the People’s Republic of Korea in top 16 round.
    • It was Dauletbike Yakhshimuratova of Uzbekistan, who got easily ousted by our champion in the quarterfinals.
    • At that moment her journey cut short by Japan’s Eri Tosaka. However, Vinesh qualified for the bronze medal bout.
    • She grabbed the opportunity to secure a medal by destroying her opponent, Narangerel Eredenesukh of Mongolia.
  • Vinesh Phogat proudly came home with the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category.

The Olympics 2016 Heartbreak

    • Vinesh qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics after beating Iwona Matkowska of Poland in the qualifying tournament held in Istanbul.
    • The whole nation was excited to see its daughter in the world’s most prestigious sporting extravaganza.
    • Unfortunately, her journey was cut short in the quarterfinals by a career-threatening knee injury.
  • She has a dream of bringing home the first Olympic gold medal in wrestling was shattered at that very instant. However, her spirit still remains intact and she has promised that she will not come back without a gold medal in Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Commonwealth Games 2018

Vinesh Phogat celebrates after winning the gold medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
Vinesh Phogat celebrates after winning the gold medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
    • Vinesh Phogat won the gold medal in at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and made the entire country proud! She achieved this incredible feat in the women’s 50 kg freestyle wrestling at the 21st edition of the games held in Gold Coast, Australia.
    • Topped the standings at the end of the Nordic format.
    • Showed technical superiority and beat Miesinnei Genesis of Nigeria and Rupinder Kaur of Australia.
    • Eventually, it came down to just one opponent standing between her and the gold medal. It was Jessica MacDonald from Canada. The grappler got the best of her opponent and succeeded in bringing home the gold.

Vinesh Phogat at the Asian Games 2018

After winning the Commonwealth Games gold, Vinesh went on to clinch the Asian Games gold at the 50 kg wrestling event. She therefore became the first Indian woman to achieve the feat. After the win, she stated that her next target was the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she wishes to become the first Indian women to win a gold.


    • 2018 Asian Games, Jakarta – Gold
    • Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast, Australia – Gold
    • 2018 Asian Championships, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – Silver
    • 2017 Asian Championships, New Delhi, India – Silver
    • 2016 Asian Championships, Bangkok, Thailand – Bronze
    • 2015 Asian Championships, Doha, Qatar –Silver
    • Commonwealth Games 2014, Glasgow, Scotland – Gold
    • Asian Games 2014, Incheon, South Korea – Bronze
    • Asian Championships 2013, New Delhi, India – Bronze
  • Commonwealth Wrestling Championship 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa – Silver
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A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.


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