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Wrestler Geeta eyes Tokyo Olympics after giving birth

July 21, 2020 17:06 IST
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'I have gained some weight during pregnancy, so my priority would be to get fit.'

IMAGE: Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat with her son Arjun. Photograph: Geeta Phogat/Instagram

Veteran Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat expressed her desire to make a comeback and represent the country at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

 

Geeta, who gave birth to her son Arjun in December, said the postponement of the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus pandemic came as a blessing in disguise for her and will give more time to prepare for the mega-event.

"Since the Olympics has been postponed, I am hoping to compete in it. This one year will give me sufficient time to prepare for the trials and the qualification events," said Geeta, who became the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold at Commonwealth Games in 2010, during young Indian table tennis player Mudit Dani's online chat show In The Sportlight.

Geeta Phogat

IMAGE: Geeta Phogat celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 55kg freestyle wrestling event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, October 7, 2010. Photograph: Krishnendu Haider/Reuters

The World Championships bronze medallist Geeta married fellow Indian wrestler Pawan Kumar Saroha in 2016 and the couple was blessed with a baby boy Arjun in December last year. Geeta said it was difficult to get back to training initially after pregnancy but she is getting the momentum gradually.

"I have gained some weight during pregnancy, so my priority would be to get fit. And after that, whatever qualifying tournament is there, I will participate and try to book a place for the Olympics," she added.

"I started fitness training sometime back but the doctor advised me to wait as I have to feed my kid. We wrestlers are not used to doing light workouts. But since the last couple of months, I have started getting into the groove. Training is difficult without an opponent so I'm doing whatever exercises are possible at home," the wrestler said.

Away from action since pregnancy, the 31-year-old Geeta is aware that she has to work hard for the comeback due to healthy competition in the Indian camp. However, she is happy with the progress Indian wrestling has made in the last few years.

"Lot of things have changed performance-wise for India in the last four to five years. Four of our wrestlers including Vinesh (Phogat) have qualified for the upcoming World Championships. This indicates how our wrestlers are prepared for the Olympics.

"Winning medals at the World Championship is very challenging and if we can repeat the feat as we did in 2019 then we will be strong contenders for the medal at Olympics," stated Geeta, who was the first woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympics in 2012 held in London.

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