Star India wrestler Vinesh Phogat locked up India’s 53kg spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after defeating Sarah Ann Hilderbrandt in the second repechage round at the ongoing World Wrestling Championship.
At the Olympics, Vinesh is India’s biggest medal hope. Defeating world silver medalist Sarah 8-2, Phogat secured herself a berth at Tokyo. With this win, she has progressed to the bronze medal bout against Maria Prevolaraki of Greece.
After being pushed out of the title race on Tuesday, September 17, Phogat defeated Blahinya 5-0 in the first repechage round earlier in the morning.
At the World Championship here, Phogat suffered a pre-quarterfinal defeat against Japan’s reigning champion Mayu Mukaida.
Phogat started her campaign at the Worlds on Day 5 with a 13-0 win over Olympic bronze medallist Sweden’s Sofia Mattsson. However, she was later defeated 7-0 by Mayu Mukaida of Japan. Later, as Mayu Mukaida herself reached the final of the grand event, she threw Vinesh a lifeline of the repechage round.
While none of Vinesh’s three attempts resulted in a podium, she has had a brilliant career with gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
She is competing in her fourth Worlds and is just one win away from her maiden medal. Greek wrestler Maria Prevolaraki is standing in her way.
“I am happy and relieved that I am going to Tokyo but it’s not over yet. I have a medal bout and I don’t want to miss that,” India Today quoted Vinesh as saying.