New Delhi: In a big blow to India, Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat was on Sunday ruled out of the World championship after suffering an elbow injury during practice in Lucknow.
“I’m sad to inform you all that I wouldn’t be participating in the upcoming World Championships in Hungary. Unfortunately 2 days ago, I injured my elbow during training. The doctor has advised me to rest it out for 4-6 weeks,” Vinesh tweeted after initially being reluctant to talk about the injury.
“It is a big setback for us. During sparring, she injured her elbow and the MRI scans done in Mumbai revealed the ligaments are torn. It will be very risky to compete in the Worlds,” a WFI official said.
Vinesh, who was exempted from the World Championship trials, was to compete in the 50kg category and was a medal favourite. She was also one of the favourites to win a medal at the Rio Olympic Games but a leg injury had ended her campaign.
National coach Kuldeep Malik, under whose supervision the national camp is being conducted in Lucknow, refused to comment on the development. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will have to look for a replacement but interestingly the next best grappler in the 50kg category Ritu Phogat has now been selected to represent the country in the 53kg.
Originally Pinki was to compete in 53kg but when she was asked to appear in a re-trial with Ritu, the Yasar Dogu International gold medal winner had refused. The WFI the nominated Ritu in the 53kg. The World Championship will be held in Budapest from October 20-28.