The 28-year old grappler beat Jonna Malmgren of Sweden.

Vinesh Phogat won bronze in the women’s 53kg freestyle category in the ongoing World Wrestling Championship 2022. The 28-year old grappler beat Jonna Malmgren of Sweden 8-0 to bag the bronze medal and open India’s medal count at the world meet in Belgrade, Serbia.

Vinesh looked in severe discomfort during the bout. Her knee injury seemed to have aggravated during the bronze play-off. However, she displayed great will and determination to continue grappling her way to victory. Post the completion of the match, she had to be hopped off the mat with shoulder support from her coach.

Vinesh began her World Wrestling Championship 2022 campaign by losing to Khulan Batkhuyag of Mongolia VPO (7 – 0) in the qualification round itself. The defeat was surprising for Vinesh as she was higher ranked (23) than her Mongolian opponent (39). The margin of loss was shocking, to say the least.

Vinesh Phogat got the reprieve as Khulan Batkhuyag went on to reach the final. In the repechage match, Vinesh overcame the challenge of Kazakhstan’s Zhuldyz Eshimova. Ranking-wise, the grappler from Kazakhstan had an edge as she is ranked 18th in the world while Vinesh is five positions below i.e. 23rd.

Second medal for her at World Championships.

Vinesh gave her all to secure the bout by VFA (4 – 0) and proceed to the bronze medal match. Emma Jonna Denise Malmgren, ranked 9th, was overhauled by the Indian on VPO (8 – 0). Vinesh’s valiant approach stood out as she paid no heed to her injured knee. She has been troubled by knee injuries in the past as well. Due to this very physical condition, Vinesh lost to China’s Sun Yanan in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

This is Vinesh’s second medal at the World Championships. She previously won bronze as well in the 2019 edition held at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Recently, the Haryana-born wrestler completed a hat-trick of CWG gold medals at the 2022 Birmingham Games.

India has sent a 30-member squad for the ongoing World Wrestling Championships 2022. 10 Indian wrestlers will be competing in each of three categories; men’s Greco-Roman, men’s freestyle, and women’s freestyle.

The World Wrestling Championships 2022 was originally scheduled to be staged by Russia. However, owing to the hosting ban on Russia, the United World Wrestling body shifted the tournament to Belgrade, Serbia. The world meet will conclude on 18th September.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and join our community on Telegram.