Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat said that the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) has a big role to play in her winning the gold medal at the Asiad last year.
Elaborating the point, Vinesh said: "PWL gave me the opportunity to wrestle with some really good wrestlers, which eventually stood me in good stead during the Asian Games. I will tell you why I am saying so.
"I played Sun Yanan of China twice in PWL-3 and lost on both occasions. But I learnt a lot from those defeats. And when I learnt that I am facing Yanan in the opening bout of the Asian Games, I told myself that come what may, I shouldn't commit the same mistakes again," the star wrestler said on Wednesday.
"The strategy that I adopted against Yanan during that match turned out to be spot on and I was able to win that bout quite comfortably in the end," added the 24-year-old from Balali who went on to became the first Indian woman ever to win a wrestling gold at the Asiad.
Talking about the field in the upcoming PWL season, Vinesh said that though she has defeated most Indian wrestlers who will be in the fray in this edition, she doesn't want to be complacent and added that she respects each and every wrestler in the competition.
"However, I am sure I will have tough competition from last year's winner and world champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus. I have never fought against her as we both were in the same team last year and she was also competing in a different weight category in the international arena. But this time, she is in my category and I will have to be at my best against her," she said.
"Though we have never competed at the international level, we were teammates last year but this year she is my rival," Vinesh added.
Vinesh featured for Delhi Sultans in the first edition and for UP Dangal last year when she also won the Best Wrestler's title.
She couldn't participate in the second season due to injury. This year she has been picked by Mumbai Maharathi for a price of Rs 25 lakhs.
She is expected to face tough competition from Ritu Phogat of MP Yodha, Anju from NCR Punjab Royals, Vanesa and Pinky from UP Dangal and Seema from Haryana Hammers.