She is the eldest of the famed Phogat sisters, the first Indian woman to win the Commonwealth Games wrestling and the first Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympics. This is none other than India’s very own Dangal Girl- Geeta Phogat!
When she was born, her mother was disappointed because she was a girl. Today, her parents couldn’t be prouder. Her father has time and again said that his daughters are no less than any son. The road till this acceptance and change of perception wasn’t easy for Geeta or her family. The Phogat family is a ray of hope in a state where girls are killed even before they are born. The achievements of the Phogat sisters have brought a revolution in Haryana. Geeta has spearheaded this revolution with determination. Today we take a look at her exciting journey.
The Wrestling Journey
Geeta Phogat had a truly golden start to her wrestling career. She won the gold in freestyle wrestling at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship of 2009. She became the first Indian woman to bring home the Commonwealth Games wrestling gold in 2010. She achieved this amazing feat in the freestyle 55 kg. It also made her the celebrated golden girl of India.
Geeta wasn’t going to be satisfied with just a Commonwealth gold medal. She worked extremely hard to secure a podium finish at the Summer Olympics 2012. Unfortunately, she couldn’t win the repechage round. Even though she lost, she made history. Geeta is the first Indian grappler to qualify for the Olympics.
The World Wrestling Championships of 2012 were held in Canada. Geeta lost to Saori Yoshida of Japan in the second round. However, she won both the bouts in the repechage round to come home with the bronze medal. Geeta won another bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships of 2012. She lost to Kanako Murata from Japan in the first round itself. Fortunately, she got another opportunity in the repechage round. She made the most of it to ensure a podium finish.
At the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships of 2013, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Geeta won a sparkling silver medal. She won a bronze medal in the freestyle wrestling 58 kg category at the Asian Wrestling Championship 2015. However, she couldn’t get a podium finish in the World Championships held the same year.
She made a comeback of sorts by clinching the gold at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship of 2017.
In the last couple of years, Geeta has been slightly distracted. She lost her focus because of the blockbuster movie and then an injury. She was not selected for the Asian Games 2018 due to disciplinary issues. Geeta explained that she couldn’t attain the camp as she was undergoing treatment for her knee.