Vinesh Phogat pulls out of the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games due to a knee injury that necessitates surgical intervention. Taking her place in the women’s 53kg wrestling division is Antim Panghal, the current reigning world junior champion.
Vinesh, a 28-year-old wrestler from Haryana, shared the news of her injury on social media, expressing her regret at not being able to protect her Asian Games gold medal.
Vinesh, the champion of the Asian Games held in Jakarta, informed in her social media post,
“Hi everyone, I wanted to share an extremely sad piece of news. A couple of days ago on 13th August, I injured my left knee in training. After doing the scans and examinations, the doctor said that unfortunately, surgery is the only option for me to recover. I will be undergoing surgery on 17th August in Mumbai. It was my dream to retain my Asian Games gold medal for India which I won in 2018 at Jakarta. But unfortunately, this injury has ruled out my participation now. I have informed all concerned authorities immediately so that the Reserve player can be sent to the Asian Games.”
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) August 15, 2023
Vinesh, together with Bajrang Punia, received an exemption from the trials by the ad-hoc committee appointed by the Indian Olympic Association. This led to their automatic inclusion in the Olympic Games.
These two athletes played a prominent role in the protest against the departing head of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Singh is currently dealing with accusations related to actions that include offending a woman’s dignity, engaging in sexual harassment, and persistent stalking.
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