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  5. Yogeshwar Dutt comes out in support of Vinesh Phogat: 'It was just not her day'

Yogeshwar Dutt comes out in support of Vinesh Phogat: 'It was just not her day'

Vinesh was suspended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on grounds of not training with the Indian team and also not following training the guidelines. She also faced backlash for not wearing the team jersey.

IANS Written by: IANS New Delhi Published on: August 13, 2021 15:55 IST
Vinesh Phogat against Sweden's Sofia Magdelana in women's 53kg Freestyle wrestling at Tokyo Olympics
Image Source : AP

Vinesh Phogat against Sweden's Sofia Magdelana in women's 53kg Freestyle wrestling at Tokyo Olympics

Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt on Friday came out in support of under-fire wrestler Vinesh Phogat, saying "it was just not her day".

The 23-year-old grappler is facing criticism from all quarters after failing to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, as she was India's one of the best medal prospects.

Later, Vinesh was suspended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on grounds of not training with the Indian team and also not following training the guidelines. She also faced backlash for not wearing the team jersey.

Hurt by the suspension, Vinesh wrote a column, revealing her struggle with mental health issues, saying she is "truly broken". "We celebrate Simone Biles as she said that I am not mentally prepared to perform at the Olympics and did not do her event.

"Try just saying that in India. Forget pulling out of wrestling, just try saying that you are not ready. I don't know when I will return (to the mat). Maybe I won't. Now my body is not broken, but I'm truly broken," she was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Yogheshwar then came forward in support of Vinesh. "I think we need to respect Vinesh's achievements. She is a good wrestler but it was just not her day, that's it. Winning and losing are part and parcel of the game. When we win, the mistakes get covered up while after defeat, the good things are hidden. One must understand that no athlete wants to lose," said Yogi, as he is fondly called.

Asked about his comments on the suspension, the former international wrestler said the federation never harms any wrestler. "It has been done earlier also and I think that is not a major issue. She has been asked to answer a few questions, which she will give for sure and the federation understands the players very well and nothing major will happen, I guess. What the federation must do is to solve the problems she might have faced," Yogeshwar said.

Questioned about wrestlers Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia's showing in Tokyo, Yogeshwar said, "Ravi and Bajrang both are very talented wrestlers and they both have a bright future. I believe they can win gold in the next Olympics. See, wrestlers have been winning medals for India in the Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"In Beijing, Sushil Kumar won bronze, then in London 2012, I won bronze and Sushil silver, then in Rio 2016, Sakshi Malik won bronze and this time in Tokyo, Ravi and Bajrang won silver and bronze respectively. So the graph is going to increase in the near future. Women wrestlers will also prove their mettle in Paris, I am sure," he added.

Geeta Phogat and Heena Sidhu also extended support to Phogat.

" I read about you suffering from depression in 2019. I went through the same and it was very ugly. I hope you are taking professional help, becuase it's better fighting it with a team, just like sports. If you want to speak about it, I am here 4 u," wrote Sidhu.

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