Vinesh Phogat, who was given direct entry to the Asian Games, on Tuesday announced that she won’t be able to compete at the quadrennial extravaganza in Hangzhou because of a knee injury that will require a surgery.
The exemption from the Asian Games trials given to Vinesh and Bajrang Punia had created a huge controversy as the wrestling fraternity criticised the decision made by the ad-hoc panel.
However, as luck would have it, Vinesh would not be part of the sporting action in Hangzhou, starting September 23.
Vinesh revealed her injury in a statement issued on X, formerly twitter.
“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 the scans and examinations, the doctor has said that unfortunately, surgery is the only option for me to recover,” she wrote.
“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 in Jakarta. But unfortunately, this injury has ruled out my participation now.”
She also said that she has informed all concerned authorities so that the reserve player can be sent to the Asian Games.
It clears the way for Antim Panghal’s inclusion in the squad. The U-20 world champion Panghal had won the trials and was put on standby.
“I would like to request all the fans to continue supporting me so that I can make a strong comeback on the mat soon and prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Your support gives me a slot of strength,” Vinesh wrote.