New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Star Indian grappler Vinesh Phogat has said 2019 was a year filled with all kinds of emotions wherein she learned a lot and believes that 2020 — wherein she will be making her second Olympics appearance — will be special.
“2019 was a year filled with emotions some bitter, some sweet! Started off the year with a lot of anger, frustration and fear inside of me. I had a new full-time coach, a whole new practice regimen, and most importantly a completely new weight category!” Vinesh tweeted on Wednesday.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, Vinesh reached the quarter-finals and lost to Sun Yanan of China owing to a knee injury.
Vinesh, who was stretchered off the mat midway during her quarter-final bout in Rio, changed her weight category twice since 2016, and in March 2019, she decided to move up to the 53-kg category with an eye on avoiding injuries.
“Now that I think of it, this new weight category made the biggest difference and finally helped me achieve something that I had pursued for a long time, a World Championship medal! Chasing that medal brought in huge changes,” she said.
“I changed the way I trained, the way I ate, and how I recovered!!! I explored new countries, wandered round new cities and had a tonne of fabulous new experiences. Looking back, 2019 turned out pretty great!”
“2020 comes with a lot of promise with the fact that I am competing at my second Olympic Games taking it to a whole new level! Thank you 2019 for all the wonderful and not so wonderful moments that taught me so much! Wishing all of you a very happy new year!!!”
“2020 is gonna be special,” she added.
The 25-year-old underlined her potential with a bronze medal in the World Wrestling Championships after she registered an emphatic 4-1 victory over Greece’s Maria Prevolaraki in Russia. That made her the first Indian wrestler to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
She also became the first Indian woman wrestler to make the cut through Worlds, a feat which only strengthens her stakes at the Tokyo Olympics. With Sakshi Malik struggling, Vinesh will be India’s best hope for glory in Tokyo.