Vinesh Phogat pulls out from Asian Games due to knee injury
Antim Panghal is set to replace the reigning champion in women’s 53kg wrestling category.
Reigning World Championships bronze medalist Vinesh Phogat has pulled out from the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games due to a knee injury. The ace wrestler is set to undergo surgery on August 17th in Mumbai and would need time to recover and rehab.
Vinesh Phogat on her social media handle said, “I wanted to share an extremely sad piece of news. A couple of days ago on 13th August 2023, I injured my left knee in training. After doing scans and examinations, the doctor has said that unfortunately, surgery is the only option for me to recover.
“I will be undergoing surgery on 17th August in Mumbai. It was my dream to retain my Asian Games gold medal for India which I won in 2018 at Jakarta. But unfortunately, this injury has ruled out my participation now.”
Her unavailability opens the door for young Antim Panghal who had recently won the selection trials for the Asian Games but was put on the reserves list with Vinesh qualifying directly alongside Bajrang Punia.
Vinesh further added, I have all concerned authorities immediately so that the reserve player can sent to the Asian Games.”
This also means Vinesh won’t be able to compete in the World Wrestling Championships trials which is slated to take place on August 25-26 in Patiala. The ad hoc panel did not provide exemption to any of the wrestlers for the Worlds and announced that all athletes need to take part in the trials. However, Bajrang Punia is yet to confirm his participation for the trials.
The World Championships offer quota places for Paris Olympics 2023 and is scheduled to be held from September 16th, few days prior to the Asian Games.