Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has decided to withdraw from the 2023 Asian Games held which is set to be held in September this year in Hangzhou, China. She has withdrawn from the tournament due to a knee injury which would require surgery.
Vinesh’s stand-by wrestler Antim Panghal will be participating now in her absence. Antim made a big deal about Vinesh’s selection directly to the Asian Games rather than holding fair trials. Antim is the World Junior Champion and will look to impress everyone on the big stage in Vinesh’s absence. It will be exciting to see the women’s 53kg category.
Vinesh shared the news of her injury on social media. She was extremely sad as she is not getting a chance to defend her gold medal at the Asian Games.
“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,” said Vinesh who won the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games.
The 28-year-old wrestler shared how the injury has shattered her dreams of defending her title in Hangzhou, China. “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 has demanded her fans’ support during this tough time as the experienced wrestler will look to get back to full fitness as the Paris Olympics is approaching next year. “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 strength,” Vinesh added.
Earlier it was the talk of the town when Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia received direct entry into the qualifying trials. The reason is both wrestlers have won the World Championship medal and therefore they have gained direct entry into the Asian Games.
Vinesh alongside Bajrang Punia was the face of the wrestler’s protest against former Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who is facing charges of sexually harassing female wrestlers.
In trials, Antim won the women’s 53kg beating everyone by a big margin. However, she was furious when Vinesh earned direct entry into the Asian Games. So much so that she even went to Delhi High Court to challenge this decision taken by the Indian Olympic Association-appointed ad-hoc committee. Eventually, Antim will be taking part in the 2023 Asian Games after Vinesh’s injury.