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Wrestling

Vinesh Phogat pulls out of Hangzhou Asian Games, to undergo knee surgery

Vinesh's stand-by Antim Panghal in women's 53kg category wrestling will replace her in the Indian squad for the Hangzhou Games.

Vinesh Phogat pulls out of Hangzhou Asian Games, to undergo knee surgery
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Vinesh Phogat is an Asian Games gold medal-winning wrestler. (FILE PHOTO: WFI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 16 Aug 2023 7:01 AM GMT

Vinesh Phogat has pulled out of the Hangzhou Asian Games with a knee injury, which she said would require surgery.

The 28-year-old two-time World Championships bronze medallist had been exempted from Asian Games trials following the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) appointed ad-hoc committee ruling, giving world championships medallists automatic selections.

Vinesh and Bajrang Punia were given automatic selection into India's Asian Games squad due to this ruling.

Due to her injury Antim Panghal, the world junior champion who was Vinesh's stand-by, will replace her in women's 53kg category wrestling in the Indian squad for the Hangzhou Games.

Vinesh took to social media on Tuesday to reveal the news of her injury, and she is disappointed for being unable to defend her Asian Games gold medal.

"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 doign the scans and examinations, the doctor said that unfortunately, surgery is the only option for me to recover," Vinesh, the Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist, wrote in her statement on social media.

"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," she added.

"I would like to request all the fans to continue supporting me so that I can make a strong comeback to the mat soon and prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Your support gives me a lot of strenght," Vinesh said.

Vinesh and Bajrang Punia were the faces of protest against outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is facing charges of outraging a woman's modesty, sexual harassment, and stalking respectively.

Antim, who beat Tamanna 7-2, thrashed Neha 12-2 and then pinned Manju in the trials, challenged Vinesh's automatic selection in the Delhi High Court. But the court had repealed Antim's plea in a July 22 verdict.

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