CWG 2022: ‘Koshish karne waalo ki kabhi haar nahi hoti’; either Vinesh, Sangeeta or I will surely win an Olympic medal for India, says Geeta Phogat | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

NEW DELHI: Memories of the glory of the 2010 Commonwealth Games are still fresh for Geeta Phogat. Geeta had won India’s first-ever women’s gold medal wrestle at the CWG, where she defeated Australian Emily Bensted in the final in New Delhi 12 years ago.
With Indian wrestlers hitting the mats at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, starting Friday, Geeta, who is eyeing an international comeback after having her first child, is confident India will win the highest number of wrestling medals this time around. the games. Geeta also feels a CWG medal for cousin Vinesh Phogat will give Vinesh, a medal favorite, a lot of confidence for the Paris Olympics.
Expectations will be high at CWG 2022 by Olympic silver medalist Ravi Dahiya, Olympic bronze winners Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat.

In the 2018 CWG in Australia’s Gold Coast, Indian wrestlers won 12 medals – 5 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze.
This time, in Birminghamespecially if there is no shooting, Team India will count on the wrestlers to increase the number of medals.
With the wrestling action kicking off on CWG 2022,

spoke to veteran wrestler Geeta to talk about India’s medal counting in wrestling, Vinesh’s comeback, Olympic pressure and much more…


(The Phogat sisters Geeta, left, and Babita – TOI photo)
How hard is it for a female wrestler to make a comeback after motherhood?
When I was pregnant, I always thought about the comeback. I wanted to play again and win a medal for my country. After I had Arjun (Geeta’s son), I had to work a lot on myself. I had to sweat a lot to get fit again. When I got the chance in the Nationals, I gave my best and won a silver medal. I have analyzed myself. I realized that I need to work a lot on my speed and matting.
You won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Take us on a trip down memory lane…
That was a great time. We didn’t have many facilities compared to what wrestlers get these days. Whether it’s facilities, coaches, training, camps, food, sponsors or whatever, wrestlers get it all these days. They just have to do their own hard work to get to that level. I get excited when I think about those Commonwealth Games. That moment (winning the gold) still gives me goosebumps.

The medal cabinet of the Phogat sisters is missing an Olympic medal…
My father (coach Mahavir Singh Phogat) will not be satisfied until he sees an Olympic medal in our cabinet. Babita has almost stopped wrestling. Sangeeta is here. We have high hopes for Vinesh. We are confident Vinesh will receive an Olympic medal for the Phogat family.
She is currently in Birmingham. She is working hard on her Olympic dreams. My father runs a wrestling academy in my village. He recently prepared two girls who have won gold medals at Cadet Championships and Junior Asian Championships. He is still very passionate about this sport.
Vinesh winning a medal at CWG 2022 would certainly boost her confidence for a medal at the Olympics…
We are confident Vinesh will return with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. An injury forces an athlete to fight harder. Vinesh has also gone through this phase. She won, got injured and made a comeback. She was injured again and then made another comeback. It’s not easy at all. When an athlete is injured, he or she must work twice as hard to hit the mat again.


(Vinesh Phogat – TOI photo)
Vinesh is very strong, mentally and physically. She is young and her age is an advantage. She has a lot of time. I’m sure she will do well in Paris (2024 Olympics) and win a medal for India. She is young. She is mentally strong. She is now fit and fresh. CWG 2022 is a big opportunity for her after the setback of the Tokyo Olympics. I just want to give her my blessings and hope she does well and brings back a medal for India. In fact, I also want to make it to the Paris Olympics (smiles).
Either Vinesh, Sangeeta or I will definitely win an Olympic medal for India. In February I suffered a joint injury and had to have surgery. I’m sure I can make an international comeback. Koshish karne waalo ki kabhi her nahi hoti (those who keep trying never lose).
How many medals do you think Indian wrestlers will win at CWG 2022?
The Indian wrestling team looks solid. I believe every wrestler is capable of coming back with a medal around his or her neck. I want to wish every wrestler the best of luck. There are many changes in wrestling now. Wrestling is no longer the same as before.

Last year when I was in the national camp, the Khelo India camp was also going on. The government had provided world-class physios, coaches and facilities to children under 16, under 18 and under 20. They got world class mats, AC rooms and food. These facilities did not exist 10 years ago. Be it Vinesh, Ravi or Bajrang, everyone had foreign coaches during the Olympics. These things and facilities have many benefits for athletes.
There are many athletes who perform well at the CWG, Asian Games and World Championships, but fail at the Olympics. Can this be attributed to Olympic pressure?
You’re right. It’s because of the Olympic pressure. The Olympics are the biggest platform and there is a lot of pressure there. There are many expectations of winning a medal. There is the mental pressure to do things after the Olympic medal. There are also thoughts that go through the mind of an athlete about what people will say if he or she doesn’t win a medal there etc.
Staying focused is the only way to overcome this fear. The medal should not be in the mind of the athlete. He or she just needs to focus 100 percent on performance. We should live in the present and not think about winning a medal in the future.

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