It was a proud moment for India when Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a Gold Medal at the Asian Games. Phogat won the gold by defeating Yuki Irie of Japan in the Women’s 50 kg Freestyle Wrestling. Born on August 25, 1994, Vinesh Phogat comes from a family with a wrestling background. Vinesh Phogat’s cousins, Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, are international wrestlers who have won Gold at the Commonwealth Games. Geeta won the Gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Babita won the gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. However, both cousins could not win Gold at Asian Games. Vinesh Phogat has now broken that chain of bad luck by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold at the Asian Games.
Vinesh Phogat’s professional career
- 2013 Asian Wrestling Championships: In the women’s freestyle 52 kg category, Vinesh Phogat won bronze medal by defeating Tho-Kaew Sriprapa of Thailand.
- 2013 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships: Vinesh won a silver medal (women’s freestyle 51 kg category) in this exclusive tournament that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Vinesh put up a good fight, but was defeated by Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria.
- 2014 Commonwealth Games: Vinesh won her first gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category. She defeated Yana Rattigan of England in the final match.
- 2014 Asian Games: Vinesh won bronze in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category.
- 2015 Asian Championships: Vinesh Phogat won silver medal after being defeated by Yuki Irie of Japan
- 2016 Rio Olympics: Vinesh was close to winning her first Olympic medal, but she lost in the Quarter Finals due to a knee injury.
- 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games: Vinesh won gold in women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling.
- 2018 Asian Games: Vinesh won gold medal and became the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold at the Asian Games.
A proud moment for Haryana
Due to the traditional value system in the state of Haryana, Vinesh Phogat’s father and uncle had to endure great hardships when they allowed their daughters to pursue the sport of wrestling. The family faced opposition from the local community since women’s participation in sports was considered immoral and against the value system of the community. However, the family overcame all such societal pressures to emerge winners at the global level.
With Vinesh winning the gold at Asian Games and becoming the first Indian woman to achieve this feat, it’s a moment of great pride for all of Haryana. Vinesh Phogat’s win will contribute significantly towards changing the outdated thinking that’s prevalent in rural areas of the state. It will also inspire other families to let their daughters pursue their field of interest.