Vinesh Phogat’s journey from suffering a devastating injury at Rio 2016 to winning an Asian Games gold in 2018 is nothing short of inspiring. The Indian national anthem played for the second time at Jakarta and Palembang, as the wrestler from Haryana went uncontested throughout the day and ended on top of the podium. And her feat has drawn the attention of some of the most prominent names in Indian sports.
First up is Phogat’s wrestling compatriot Bajrang Punia, who himself won the gold in the men’s 65kg freestyle wrestling category on the first day of the Asian Games.
Congratulations to @Phogat_Vinesh for winning gold medal in 50kg.— Bajrang Punia (@BajrangPunia) August 20, 2018
Neeraj Chopra, India’s promising Javelin star who was the Indian contingent’s flag bearer at the Asian Games opening ceremony has lauded Phogat’s feat as well.
That’s a true sign of a champion.U give them any stage and they come out the best of all. That’s what @Phogat_Vinesh has done Gold at @asiangames2018 Many congratulations for making India proudजय हिंद pic.twitter.com/Xs4y8HUZJ3— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 20, 2018
Chopra was there to watch Vinesh’s gold medal bout interestingly, as tweeted by journalist Shaziya Abbas. Story goes that Phogat was present to watch Neeraj Chopra’s medal winning feat at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year as well, so this was certainly a nice touch!
Look who is here to support Vinesh Phogat pic.twitter.com/XD22D1p3Js— shaziya abbas (@abbas_shaz) August 20, 2018
Current sports minister and ex-Olympic medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore praised Phogat emphatically.
What a stupendous performance by @Phogat_Vinesh!— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) August 20, 2018
She wins 2ndfor India at #AsianGames2018 in the women's freestyle 50kg Women’s Wrestling. Way to go champ! #IndiaAtAsianGames pic.twitter.com/mr3YKW8BZp
Indian wrestling legend Yogeshwar Dutt joined in the chorus of congratulations too.
एशियन गेम्स में स्वर्ण पदक जीतने पर ढेरों शुभकामनाएं @Phogat_Vinesh आपने इतिहास रच दिया, एशियाड में भारत का महिला कुश्ती वर्ग का पहला गोल्ड। पूरे देश को आप पर गर्व है। #AsianGames #IndianWrestling #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/62tjhyjlzv— Yogeshwar Dutt (@DuttYogi) August 20, 2018
And finally, Vinesh’s cousin sister and India’s first female wrestler to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games expressed how proud she felt at her sister’s achievement.