Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, on Sunday, September 18, lashed out at critics after she won the bronze medal in the 53kg at the 2022 World Championships in Belgrade. She also became the first Indian woman to win two medals at the world level. She defeated Sweden’s Emma Jonna Malmgren to finish with bronze.
However, Phogat was greeted with a lot of flak after she lost to Mongolia’s Khulan Batkhuyag in her opening bout. She stated that athletes try their hearts out, but aren’t robots by any means. Phogat also mentioned that there are a lot of people who consider them experts while sitting at home.
“Athletes are humans and while being an athlete is a huge part of who we are, it doesn’t mean we work like robots every time a tournament is announced. Not sure if this culture is in every country or this is just India where we have so many experts sitting at home,” Phogat wrote.
“Every individual, professional or not, has chased hardships, struggles and challenges through their journey. Difference is the world does not comment and criticise them thinking they are experts on those professionals and their careers. But we have many who consider themselves as experts on sports who think they know the efforts, the hardships and what goes into training an athlete,” she added.
I hope everyone will be more responsible about their words.. Focus on what your athletes are doing well! People need to have a better perspective and stop the constant criticism in Indian sports. pic.twitter.com/C7CWCgODCH
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) September 18, 2022
“Why are we as athletes answerable to them about every detail when all athletes get back is comments on how they should train, what they should do instead of support and encouragement when times are tough. Is it very discouraging when people assume they can comment on when athletes should stop or end their career, when they should play and not play.
“A win always does not mean that an athlete has done anything extra extraordinary and a loss does not mean that the athlete has not tried during that game. Winning and losing is a part of every athlete’s journey and the athletes try hard each time,” she said.
After losing to Batkhuyag, also the silver medallist of the 2022 Asian championships, Phogat made it through to the repechage round.
Earlier, Vinesh Phogat also won the gold medal in the 53kg category in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
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