Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who received a controversial exemption from the Asian Games trials alongside Bajrang Punia, has made the unfortunate announcement that she won’t be participating in the upcoming event in Hangzhou. Vinesh cited a knee injury requiring surgery as the reason for her withdrawal.
The decision to bypass the trials for Vinesh and Bajrang Punia sparked criticism within the wrestling community, with many disagreeing with the ad-hoc panel’s choice. However, Vinesh’s injury now prevents her from taking part in the sporting extravaganza, set to begin on September 23.
In a statement shared on X (formerly Twitter), Vinesh expressed her disappointment, saying, “I sustained a left knee injury during training on August 13, 2023. Following scans and medical examinations, the doctor recommended surgery as the only path to recovery.”
The setback dashes Vinesh’s hopes of defending her Asian Games gold medal won in Jakarta 2018, but she remains optimistic about the future. She conveyed, “Although my Asian Games journey is cut short, I urge my fans to keep supporting me as I aim to make a strong comeback for the Paris 2024 Olympics.”
Vinesh also ensured that the necessary authorities were informed, facilitating the inclusion of reserve player Antim Panghal in the squad. Panghal, the U-20 world champion, had triumphed in the trials and had been on standby.
Amid this unforeseen turn of events, Vinesh’s resilience shines as Vinesh Phogat looks ahead to recovery and her aspirations for the next Olympic Games.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The New Indian Express