Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 May 2018 12:21:11



IT’S STILL a good two years away but recently crowned Commonwealth Games champion wrestler Vinesh Phogat can’t stop herself from obsessing over the Olympics as she is not just chasing a medal to make up for the Rio heartbreak but also a little piece of history for herself. Vineshwas to utedas the brigh test medal prospect for India in the 2016 Rio Olympics but her campaign ended in tears after she was stretchered off the mat owing to a career-threatening knee injury in her quarterfinal bout. But the 23-year-old grappler from the famous “Phogat family didn’t give up and battled her way to recovery to claim her second CWG gold in Gold Coast recently. “From next yearthe Olympic qualifiers will start and then preparations for the Olympics. There is still time for the Olympics, but my focus is already at Tokyo, Vinesh told PTI in an interview. Her confidence restored by the CWG gold,Vinesh now wants to become India’s first Olympic goldmedallist in wrestling. “We have got bronze, we have got silver medals in wrestling in the Olympics but gold is still pending.So,who ever can bring the gold will be the nation’s hero, Vinesh said. Wrestling might be popular in India but the country has won only four medals in the ancient sport in the Olympics so far, which includes two from Sushil Kumar -- a bronze and silver. “It (the CWG) was my first big Games after the Olympics. People expected a lot from me in the Olympics but I got injured and bowed out. After recovering from such an injury when you finish on the podium, it gives inspiration to other athletes. It was not an athlete’s win, India’s win, she said of her gold in 50kg women’s wrestling in Gold Coast. Vinesh first shot to limelight in 2013 during the Asian Wrestling Championships, when she bagged a bronze medal. Her rise to fame continued when shewonthewomen’s free style 48kg gold at the2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.