Vinesh Phogat Aims for Paris 2024 Olympic Quota at Asian Qualifiers

Vinesh Phogat, a star Indian wrestler, aims for Paris 2024 Olympic quota at the Asia Olympic qualifiers in Kyrgyzstan, where 16 Indian wrestlers compete for quota spots.

Salman Khan
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Vinesh Phogat Aims for Paris 2024 Olympic Quota at Asian Qualifiers

Vinesh Phogat Aims for Paris 2024 Olympic Quota at Asian Qualifiers

Vinesh Phogat, a two-time Olympian and star wrestler from India, will be under the spotlight as she competes for a Paris 2024 Olympic quota place at the Asia Olympic qualifiers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The tournament, which runs from April 19-21, offers 36 quota spots across 18 weight categories in freestyle, women's, and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Phogat, who won bronze medals at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships, will be competing in the 50kg category after dropping down from her usual 53kg weight class. India has already secured a quota in the 53kg category through Antim Panghal, who won bronze at the 2023 World Wrestling Championships.

The draw for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers has favored Phogat, as the two toughest competitors in the 50kg weight class, Son Hyang Kim of North Korea and Aktenge Keunimjaeva of Uzbekistan, are on the opposite side of the draw. Phogat will open her campaign against South Korea's Miran Cheon and could potentially face Cambodia's Samnag Dit in the second round.

This will be Phogat's first international tournament since the protests against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh began last year. Phogat was one of the faces of the Indian wrestlers' protest against Singh, along with Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik.

Other notable Indian wrestlers competing in Bishkek include Anshu Malik (57kg), Reetika Hooda (76kg), Aman Sehrawat (57kg), and Deepak Punia (86kg). Sehrawat and Sujeet (65kg) will be closely watched in the men's freestyle category, while Punia will also aim for a strong performance.

Why this matters: The Asian Olympic Qualifiers represent a crucial opportunity for Indian wrestlers to secure their spots at the Paris 2024 Olympics. A successful showing in Bishkek would boost India's medal prospects and help the sport rebuild its image after the recent controversies surrounding the WFI.

The tournament follows a bracket system with no gold medal, repechage, or bronze medal bouts. The winners of both semi-finals in each Olympic weight class will earn quotas for their respective countries. "The focus will be on two-time Olympic champion Vinesh Phogat as 16 Indian wrestlers compete for Paris 2024 Olympic quota places at the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Kyrgyzstan," stated a report on the event.

Key Takeaways

  • Vinesh Phogat, 2-time Olympian, competes for Paris 2024 quota at Asia qualifiers
  • Phogat drops to 50kg category, India has 53kg quota through Antim Panghal
  • Phogat faces favorable draw, top rivals on opposite side of bracket
  • Other notable Indian wrestlers include Anshu Malik, Reetika Hooda, Aman Sehrawat
  • Successful showing at qualifiers crucial for India's Olympic wrestling prospects