“Is it a crime to ask for a physiotherapist…”: Wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Physiotherapist’s request for Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics: Vinesh Phogat is one of India’s medal hopefuls at the Olympics.© AFP



Indian wrestler and Tokyo Olympic medal hopeful Vinesh Phogat tweeted on Thursday that she had called a physiotherapist “long ago” to visit Tokyo with her and other women wrestlers. Responding to a media report, Phogat asked whether it is an offense for four female wrestlers participating in the Games to request a physiotherapist. “Is it a crime for four female wrestlers to ask for a physiotherapist when there are instances of one athlete having multiple coaches/staff?” Phogat tweeted on Thursday. “Where is the balance? We have asked for physio long ago and not at the last minute”.

Phogat will compete in the women’s freestyle 53kg category and her first match will be on August 5.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Phogat was taken off the mat on a stretcher as she suffered a career-threatening knee injury in the quarter-finals.

After a surgery and five months of rehabilitation, Phogat made an impressive return to the mat by winning gold at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018 and third at the World Championships in 2019.

Phogat entered Tokyo 2020 in red-hot form after winning all her competitions including a gold medal at the Asian Championships this year.

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“It is difficult, but if you have to perform as an athlete at the top level then you have to be mentally strong,” Phogat said in an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month.

“Family has a big role to play in taking you to the next level. The federation and everyone has worked together, so I believe it is our duty not to let them down.”

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