On Road to Paris, wrestler Vinesh Phogat wins gold medal in Grand Prix of Spain

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On Road to Paris, wrestler Vinesh Phogat wins gold medal in Grand Prix of Spain

Madrid: In the lead-up to the Paris Olympic Games, India’s two-time Olympian Vinesh Phogat won the gold medal in the women’s 50kg category in the Grand Prix of Spain international continental wrestling championship here on Saturday. Vinesh defeated Mariia Tiumerekova — former Russian grappler now competing as an Individual Neutral Athlete — 10-5 in the final encounter to bag the yellow metal.

The 29-year-old Vinesh, who had reached Madrid after making a last-minute appeal to get her Spanish Visa which was delayed and got it only a few hours before her departure, won three bouts without much difficulty to storm into the final.

Vinesh, who participated in the Tokyo Olympic Games in the women’s 53kg, started the day with a Round 1 win against Yusneylis Guzman, a Pan-American and Central American championships winner from Cuba. Vinesh got the better of the Cuban wrestler 12-4 on points.

In the quarterfinals, the 29-year-old from Charkhi Dadri, Haryana, pinned Madison Parks of Canada, a silver medallist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. In the semifinals, Vinesh defeated another Canadian Katie Dutchak 9-4 to seal a place in the final.

The win is a huge morale booster for Vinesh, who was a prominent face of the protests against the former president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

After the Grand Prix of Spain, Vinesh will attend a camp in Spain and reach France well before the Paris Olympic Games, which will start on July 26.


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