Vinesh Phogat: Rio 2016 injury one of the lowest moments of my career

In a long emotionally-charged message posted on Twitter on Sunday, Vinesh said she had been reflecting on her journey in the run-up to her second Olympics.

In her Twitter message, Vinesh also thanked her fans and well-wishers and asked all to pray for her during the upcoming Olympic Games.   -  AP

Reflecting on her journey from picking up a career-threatening injury in the 2016 Rio Olympics to emerging as a top medal contender for the Tokyo Games, ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat has thanked her fans and well-wishers and asked all to pray for her during the upcoming Olympic Games.

In a long emotionally-charged message posted on Twitter on Sunday, Vinesh said she had been reflecting on her journey in the run-up to her second Olympics.

“The journey to Tokyo has been long, bittersweet and difficult at times. But, ultimately (it’s) hugely satisfying. The pandemic and all its consequences have added a completely different dimension to the road to the Olympics but all the twists and turns have come together to make the trip sweeter,” said Vinesh.

“Casting my mind back five years, I wasn't even sure whether I would be able to get on to the mat again. The injury in Rio was easily one of the lowest moments in my career, and even had me questioning whether I would ever be able to wrestle again. Giving up though is something that has luckily never crossed my mind. Yes, I had doubts about whether my body would heal and allow me to get on the mat, but I was sure that I was never going to spare any effort towards rebuilding myself and then let my body decide!”

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She thanked many people, including family members, who helped in her recovery from the injury and provided moral support to her during the tough time.

“Getting back to action in Delhi at the Asian championships in 2017 and winning a medal in the first international competition since the injury gave me a huge boost.

“Woeller Akos' contribution has also been instrumental in my success and I am glad to have such an illustrious coach in my corner! Over the last few years, I have had some incredible times at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and finally that bronze medal at the World championships. These are all treasured memories and regular reminders of how this wonderful sport will continue to reward you if you keep putting in the work!

She thanked Wrestling Federation of India, Olympic Gold Quest, Sports Authority of India and Target Olympic Podium Scheme for their support.

Vinesh profusely thanked her fans. “Milte hain tokyo mein, bus duaon mein yaad rakhna (See you in Tokyo, pray for me!),” she concluded.

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