Mongolia: In an incident that embarrassed India, ace female wrestler Vinesh Phogat failed to make it to the 1st World Olympics on Saturday because she was overweight on a day when other grapplers were also left out of the Rio Games.
The stipulated weight in her category is 48 kg but Vinesh Phogat was 400 gm above this.
“Vinesh was overweight by 400 gms, so she was disqualified from the competition,” a top official in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) told PTI.
India lost an opportunity in the 48 kg category and is now left with only one chance to get to the Rio Games – 2nd World Qualification tournament. This will be held at Istanbul, Turkey from May 6th to 8th.
The 21-year-old wrestler and her coaches have already been issued with the first stern warning.
“Vinesh and the coaches have been hauled up for costing India a chance to qualify for the Rio Games. Since she is a first time offender, she has been given a warning,” he said.
As per the official, Vinesh has asked the WFI to give her a second chance and has promised that she will do anything to be in the Olympics in her weight category.
“Vinesh has assured us that she would give her 200 per cent in Istanbul and make sure that she qualifies for the Olympics. But if she fails there as well, she would be issued a show-cause notice after her return to India,” said the official.
When he was asked the reason as to why he is not replacing Vinesh with someone else, the official said that Vinesh is far set apart compared to the other competitors. He also added that processing a last minute visa for a different person is a big challenge.
The Indian female wrestling team, which includes three Phogat sisters — Vinesh, Babita and Geeta, has been training in Sofia, Bulgaria since the first week of April.