Vinesh Phogat making it look easy in new weight category

Vinesh Phogat defeated American Sarah Hildebrandt to book a spot in the final of 53kg category at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov wrestling in Ruse, Bulgaria on Saturday.

Vinesh Phogat reached the final of the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov wrestling tournament in Ruse, Bulgaria.(File Photo)   -  AP

Vinesh Phogat has taken well to her new weight category. She defeated American Sarah Hildebrandt to book a spot in the final of 53kg category at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov wrestling in Ruse, Bulgaria on Saturday.

Vinesh has made the move up from her preferred 50kg category to 53kg to lower the risk of injuries and with an eye on Olympics. Losing a considerable amount of weight just before a the start of tournaments had began to take a toll or her strength and stamina. However, the Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist is confident about her new challenge.

"I feel pretty good because this is new for me. I decided to move to 53kg and because of new rules and a new category I was nervous before the match, also because I don't know my opponent. Now after the win, my body feels good. I'm moving pretty well and I was able to replicate moves from my training," Vinesh said after the semifinal win in Bulgaria.

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She's shifted her focus to newer areas in training to deal with the demands of the heavier category.

"53kg is more fast and strong. In 50kg there was more speed required but now in 53kg strength and speed are both important. I worked on these things and maybe next competition I'll do even better.

 

"The opponent is very strong in 53kg, I feel. My speed and strength are matching to the opponent's. All matches are closes are every opponent is very strong for me," she said.

She's had a great run so far in the first tournament of the year and hopes to continue it.

"My (immediate) focus is on world championships and I'm training very hard for it. But my dream is the Olympics and every single day I'm working towards that dream," she said.