Phogat Sisters: The Wrestling Revolution of India
The Phogat Sisters have defined India in the World of Wrestling. The six sisters are all wrestlers and come from the State of Haryana. In the order of the date of birth, they are Geeta, Babita, Priyanka, Ritu, Vinesh, and Sangita (descending order). While Geeta, Babita, Ritu, and Sangita are the daughters of former wrestler and coach, Mahavir Singh Phogat, Priyanka and Vinesh are the daughters of Mahavir’s brother who was killed in a land dispute.
All the sisters have been trained by Mahavir in their home village of Balali in Bhiwani District. They have earned many laurels for the country in the sport of Wrestling. While Geeta, Babita, and Vinesh and Commonwealth Gold medallists in different weight categories, Priyanka is a silver medallist at the Asian Championships, Ritu is a National gold medallist and Sangita is a National silver medallist.
They faced various challenges in their initial stages as women were not considered at par with men. However, their father and coach, Mahavir Singh Phogat fought all challenges and always encouraged and trained them to become the best in the World.
They all play in different weight categories.
Geeta Phogat- 62 kg
Babita Kumari-52 kg
Priyanka Phogat- 55 kg
Ritu Phogat- 48 kg
Vinesh Phogat- 48 kg
Sangita Phogat- 55 kg
While Geeta became the first Indian wrestler to win a Commonwealth Gold medal, Vinesh is the first woman Indian wrestler to win gold in both, Commonwealth and Asian Games. Babita has won a silver at the 2018 and 2010 Commonwealth Games along with a bronze medal at the 2012 World Wrestling Championships. She has recently entered politics by joining the BJP party.
Geeta also is the first Indian woman to qualify for the Olympic Summer Games. She was followed by Babita and Vinesh who qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics. In fact, Vinesh has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics as well.
The sisters have been an inspiration as they have sowed the seeds to encouraging girls to take up wrestling as a career. The sisters along with Sakshi Malik have revolutionized Wrestling as they have changed the perception of women Wrestling in the country.
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