It’s been three years since we saw Geeta Phogat in a competitive tournament. The last time she appeared for a major tournament was in the Yasar Dogu Tournament, which were held in Istanbul, Turkey.
In the meantime, Geeta has been blessed with a baby boy in December 2019. Thus, after being pregnant she had gained a lot of weight. So to return to wrestling, she shreded about 35kg of weight and for that Geeta had to work hard for the last year and a half.
Ultimately her determination and hard work paid off as on Thursday as she qualified for the Senior Nationals. The event is scheduled to take place at Nandini Nagar, Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.
“I was around 93-94kg after I gave birth to my child. But keeping away from the sport you love is difficult. Even when I was pregnant, I was thinking about a comeback because wrestling gives me satisfaction which nothing can give,”
said Geeta, after getting selected in the 59kg category.
For Geeta, getting into the best shape after shredding the excessive weight was her priority.
“Stamina and speed play a vital role in contact sports like wrestling. Stamina was never an issue for me because of the hard work I did in childhood but getting back the speed was not easy. Executing wrestling moves with speed was the toughest thing,”
added India’s first Asian Games gold medalist.
Past success of Geeta Phogat
The last time Geeta competed in the Nationals was in 2017. Most of her best results in wrestling have come in the 55kg category. The notable ones are the Gold medal in the 2010 CWG and the Bronze medal in the 2012 World Championships. However, this time the 32-year-old has decided to compete in the 59kg category.
“It’s been more than three years so I thought 59kg would be appropriate. The 2024 Paris Olympics is the ultimate goal so I would switch to 57kg, which is an Olympic division. I cannot compete in 62kg as my sister Sangeeta is competing there. I know the 57kg is a competitive category with Worlds medallists Anshu Malik and Sarita Mor there but I would love to compete against these good young wrestlers. The aim is to start representing the country again,”
The winner and the runner-up of both the categories in the nationals will represent India in the upcoming Commonwealth Wrestling Championship to be held from December 3 to 5 in Pretoria, South Africa.
In the nationals, we are going to see Sakshi Malik in the 62kg, Narsingh Jadav in the 74kg and Rahul Aware in 61kg who will also compete apart from Geeta. Although the wrestlers from the Tokyo Olympics will miss out and the absence will be felt for sure. Like Sonam Malik who underwent elbow surgery is recovering.
Furthermore Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik are also recovering from their injuries respectively. Meanwhile in the men’s category Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya are the Olympics medalist along with Deepak Punia.
Geeta Phogat’s determination to continue with the sports and again compete at the highest level will surely be a great motivation to everybody.
Follow us on Twitter for regular sports updates.