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Ritu Phogat still watches elder sister Geeta's bouts for inspiration

By Sujata Sarkar
Ritu Phogat still watches elder sister Geeta Phogat's bouts for inspiration

New Delhi, Dec 7: Ritu Phogat is the most talented and aggressive wrestler among his six daughters as stated by Dronacharya Awardee coach Mahavir Singh Phogat.

The third daughter of Phogat family proved that by being the first Indian female wrestler to have achieved silver in her category (48 kg) in the recently concluded under-23 World Championship.

But the 22-year-old wrestler denied the notion. Ritu is in Lucknow, preparing herself for the forthcoming Commonwealth Wrestling Championship to be held in South Africa from 14th December to 17th December. Mahavir Phogat expressed huge pride as all his four daughters have got into the Indian women’s squad for the tournament.

Ritu, who won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Wrestling championship last year, told MyKhel over the phone from Lucknow recently, “My father might be emotional on my recent performance but Gita, our eldest sister, has always been my inspiration ever since I started learning wrestling at the age of eight.”

Gita was the first daughter of Mahavir, who won gold in Delhi Commonwealth Games and became the first Indian female wrestler to have participated in an Olympics (in 2012 in London).

Gita had to overcome a lot of social obstacles as the relatives and friends made stiff opposition against Mahabir’s decision of bringing Gita into professional wrestling.

However, Ritu did not have to face that stiff hurdle. But she will probably never forget the struggle her eldest sister had to go through.

Ritu, who also bagged a gold in the senior national championship this year, clarified, “You just cannot imagine how dedicated and hard-working Gita is. I have seen her every phase of training and hard work. Only after watching her since my childhood I have learnt about the dedication and hard work. I still watch the videos of Gita’s superb gold medal winning the show in the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and get inspired.”

Ritu informed she also spends maximum time on the mat when she trains under the observation of her great father and coach. She said, “There is no alternative for hard work.”

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Story first published: Thursday, December 7, 2017, 12:05 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 7, 2017
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