“I Will Work Over the Weaknesses,” Vinesh Phogat says as She Does Not have Time to Grieve over the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Debacle; Anshu Malik Believes Sports Psychologists Will Help Wrestlers
Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik
The Tokyo Olympics were quite successful for India in terms of wrestling, with Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya bringing home bronze and silver medals. The women’s side did not come home with any medals, as several players like Anshu Malik made their debut at the Olympics but showed great potential for the future through their performance.
Star grappler Vinesh Phogat however suffered a shocking exit in the quarterfinals despite being World No. 1 and a medal favourite. She wanted to redeem herself from the Rio Olympics disaster yet instead she ended up getting into more trouble, as she faced suspension and action against the WFI for her behaviour.
Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik spoke at a conference where Tata Motors and WFI announced extension of their partnership till 2024. Phogat said that she faced defeat in Rio due to her injuries and she would accept it. Phogat said she learnt a lot from her experience at the Tokyo Olympics, and that she will work on overcoming her weakness.
“At the senior level we don’t have enough time to grieve over a defeat, because the next Olympics is approaching and there are back-to-back competitions. It’s one thing to reach on top but to stay on top is challenging,” said Vinesh according to Wionews. Vinesh said that she even learnt from her juniors at the Tokyo Olympics, and her suspension was eventually let off with a warning.
Anshu Malik Believes that Sports Psychologists for all Wrestlers Will be of Great Help
The 19-year-old Anshu Malik, who shows great potential for the future, made her debut at the Tokyo Olympics this year. Malik believes that a sport psychologist would be of great help in overcoming nerves while performing on a big stage.
“There are a lot of facilities now, compared to past but sometimes you get nervous like Olympics is a big stage. If someone can interact with us, like a psychologist, that will be better,” she said. The WFI President Brijbhushan Sharan Singh also agreed that the Indian team needs at least two psychologists travelling with them to support them mentally.
Several wrestlers like Ravi Kumar Dahiya also agreed with this. Dahiya said that there is a certain mindset that needs to be maintained while performing, and that positivity is extremely important. Several times the fear of injuries, or old injuries resurfacing fill the mind of grapplers, and a sports psychologist will help them keep such thoughts at bay.
Bajrang Punia agreed as well, saying that there is not much time to recover, as split second decisions need to be taken on the mat. One needs to be able to be in control and keep the mind calm.
The WFI is urging Tata Motors to also help build a facility for injured wrestlers for rehabilitation.