Geeta and Babita Phogat's 17-year-old cousin Ritika Phogat commits suicide after losing tournament final

Ritika Phogat, the 17-year-old cousin of Indian star wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat passed away recently. Reports indicate that she had taken her life after a wrestling match loss.

The teenage wrestler recently took part in a competition in Bharatpur's Lohagarh Stadium. According to reports, she had lost the final match on March 14 by a single point - a situation that appears to have become unbearable.

Reacting to the situation, Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, VK Singh dubbed it "terrible" news. "The world has changed from where it was some decades ago. Athletes are facing pressures which were not there earlier. An essential part of their training should be to deal with these pressures," he noted.

The news has also sparked fresh conversation about mental health online.

A native of Rajasthan's Jaipur village, Ritika was staying with her uncle and Dronacharya awardee Mahavir Singh Phogat in Charkhi Dadri's Balali village under Jhojhu Kalan police station for the past four years, said Station House Officer (SHO) Dilbagh Singh.

She hanged herself from a ceiling fan at her uncle's house on the night of March 15 as she was upset over losing to her rival by one point in the final bout of a championship, he said.

The championship was held in Rajasthan's Bharatpur from March 12 to 14.

Ritika was learning and practising wrestling at the Mahavir Phogat Sports Academy in Charkhi Dadri.

Wrestling star Geeta Phogat described Ritika, her maternal sister, as a "talented wrestler".

"It's a very sad moment for my family. Ritika was a talented wrestler and I don't know why she took such a step. Victory and defeat are a part of an athlete's life. We should never take such a step," she said in a tweet in Hindi.

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