Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat was ruled out of the the World Wrestling Championships after suffering an elbow injury during practice in Lucknow on Sunday.
“It is a big setback for us. During sparring she injured her elbow and the MRI scans done in Mumbai revealed the ligaments are torn. It will be very risky to compete in the Worlds,” a Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) official said.
Vinesh, who was exempted from the World Championship trials, was to compete in the 50kg category and was a medal favourite.
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National coach Kuldeep Malik refused to comment on the development.
The Wrestling Federation will have to look for a replacement but interestingly the next best grappler in the 50kg category Ritu Phogat has now been selected to represent the country in the 53kg. Originally Pinki was to compete in 53kg, but when she was asked to appear in a re-trial with Ritu, the Yasar Dogu International gold medal winner refused.
The WFI then nominated Ritu in the 53kg. The World Championship will be held in Budapest from October 20-28.