Vinesh Phogat would typically used to ponder why the future was hell bent on devastating her. Not any extra. She has learnt to put her religion within the ‘Universe plans’.
Now she is grateful that she might confront these challenges that ultimately made her mentally stronger and extra mature.
She was one in every of India’s brightest hopes in the course of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games however returned on a stretcher, struggling a knee harm in opposition to China’s Sun Yanan in her quarterfinal bout.
The 26-year-old although got here again stronger, ironed out flaws within the subsequent three years, went on to turn out to be the most effective within the enterprise and certified for the 2020 version with a maiden World Championship medal.
If that was sufficient, she herself contracted the dreaded virus however recovered, regrouped and but once more introduced a robust arrival by profitable titles at Matteo Pellicone (Rome) and Asian Championship (Almaty) this season.
But given the prevailing pandemic state of affairs, query marks are nonetheless hanging if Tokyo will be in a position to host the Games.
Does she suppose, why it occurs solely along with her that at any time when she is prepared, aiming for Olympic glory, some or different factor stops her?
“Yes, I used to think on those lines. But perhaps Universe wants you to be stronger. It all happened with me because the nature wanted me to be stronger,” a philosophical Vinesh stated throughout a media interplay, facilitated by the Sports Authority of India.
“The up and downs has made me stronger, mature. If I am considered mentally tough today, it’s because I have faced all these tough times. The Rio (injury incident) has taught me a lot,” she added.
‘Wrestling will not be over even if Tokyo Olympics doesn’t occur’
Does this worry grip her that the Games gained’t occur when she is a favorite from India?
“It did cross my mind last year but not any more,” she was clear in her reply.
“Even If I win a medal in Tokyo, it’s not that I will stop wrestling after that. Earlier, I used to think what people would say, if I lose. Now, I have realised that after-effect of victory or defeat remains for two days. People tend to forget after that. Rio changed me. I play for myself now, for the fun of wrestling.”
For Vinesh, the be all and finish all of wrestling is not an Olympic medal. The journey and the method is extra essential for her.
“Wrestling will not be over even if it does not happen. I must keep at it and take whatever I get during this journey. All I am, concerned now If I did what needed to do in a particular situation,” she added.
Further shedding mild on her progress since 2016, Vinesh stated that she has turn out to be a a lot calmer particular person each on and off the mat.
“I used to break down emotionally, If I lose. Taking defeat or perhaps a minor harm in my stride used to be troublesome. But now I am matured, I can deal with defeats. I know that defeat solely signifies that I want to enhance.
“My anger is perhaps under control. I was also aggressive on the match but now I remain focussed on mat.”
Vinesh stated working along with her Belgian coach Woller Akos has additionally helped her immensely.
“I wrestle very smooth now and one can see it from the outside. My motion has got better, I use my hands better. I am not in hurry now. I time my attacks well now. There is a strategy in place for every single rival,” she stated.
The Haryana wrestler additionally admitted that although she loved nice outcomes at current championships — Rome and Almaty — it didn’t gave her proper evaluation forward of Tokyo Games within the absence of stronger rivals.
She didn’t concede a single level in these two occasions, profitable most of her bouts by fall.
“I did not go there, aiming to win an Asian gold. First we knew that Korea has pulled out, then China pulled out, then after reaching there, we realised Japan is also not there,” she stated.
The Asian Games gold medallist stated she nonetheless faces restoration points however it has nothing to do with COVID-19.
“My salt levels drop at times. It causes me dizziness and I can’t see. By the time I competed at Asian Championship, the co-ordination between mind and body got better.”
Asked what benefit she acquired after shifting from 50kg to 53kg class, Vinesh stated with a giant sime, “I can fill my stomach and eat whatever I want.”