Vinesh Phogat won her third successive Commonwealth Games Gold medal, emulating wrestler Sushil Kumar’s feat, in Birmingham on Saturday, August 6. It was a comprehensive show from the 27-year-old, who nearly quit the sport after her heartbreak at the Tokyo Olympics.
Vinesh Phogat won the women’s 53kg Gold, beating Sri Lanka’s Chamodya Keshani Maduravlage Don in her final round-robin bout in the nordic system. Vinesh defeated all her 3 opponents in the category by comprehensive margins.
Vinesh defeated Chambodya Keshani 5-0 — a victory by fall as early. asthe first half of the bout.
CWG 2022, Day 9 Updates | Medal Table
It was India’s 5th Gold medal in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games 2022 after Ravi Dahiya added to Friday’s tally of 3 with a Gold in the men’s 57kg category. Sakshi Malik, Deepak Punia and Bajrang Punia won Gold medals on the opening day of the competition.
Vinesh Phogat overcame her biggest hurdle, Canada’s Samantha Leigh Stewart, a World Championships bronze medalist. However, the young Indian wrestler was at her intimidating best as she reduced it to a no contest and finished it in mere 36 seconds.
Vinesh had the Canadian in a headlock from where she pushed her on the mat and in no time pinned her rival. The bout was over even before a blink of he eye.
Vinesh then hammered Nigeria’s Mercy Bolafunoluwa Adekuoroye with an iron grip, flaunting her power, holding the Nigerian in that position for more than a minute.
Vinesh needed a third win over Chamodya Keshani and she completed the treble in style to win Gold.
Screengrab from CWG 2022 website
WHEN VINESH NEARLY GAVE UP
It’s been a fine comeback from Vinesh, one of the highly-rated Indian wrestlers. The 27-year-old, who hails from the famous Phogat family, decided to quit the sport and spoke out about her mental health battle after suffering a shock defeat in the Tokyo Olympics first round.
Vinesh was handed a suspension by the Wrestling Federation of India over indiscipline on her return from Tokyo Olympics.
Things were not going well for the young wrestler as she had failed to live up to expectations in Tokyo after her heartbreaking injury in the quarter-final bout in Rio Olympics.
In a blog for The Indian Express, Vinesh had explained how she was pegged back mentally after the Tokyo low.
… everyone outside is treating me like I am a dead thing. They write anything, they do. I knew that in India, you fall as fast as you rise. One medal (lost) and everything is finished,” an emotional Vinesh had written.
“At the Olympics, no athlete is not under pressure. I was also under pressure in Tokyo, in Rio. But I know how to handle it. I could not do it in Rio but here I did. And I will do it again. Vinesh did not lose because of pressure. Before passing judgments, just ask the athlete what went wrong,” Vinesh had said.
However, Vinesh found the courage to return to the mat in February and won the trials for he Commonwealth Games.
The 3rd Gold in Birmingham should hopefully ignite her dreams for Paris 2024, wherein the wrestler would want to be third time lucky.
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