The Indian Sports ministry has sanctioned a 40-day-long training camp in Poland and Hungary for Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat.
Phogat is in the elite list of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) athletes and the sanction was done under this scheme only. The TOPS is a flagship programme of the Indian government dedicated to identifying Olympic medal hopefuls and helping them in training by providing financial and infrastructural aid.
The European camp has been organized by Woller Akos, Vinesh Phogat’s personal coach. She will train at the Vasas Sports Club in Budapest, Hungary, from December 28 to January 24 and that will be followed by a stint at the Olympic Training Centre in Szczyrk, Poland, from January 24 to February 5.
It will help Phogat in sparring with many European wrestlers in her weight category.
“As a wrestler I need to know my level and getting to spar with good wrestlers will be very helpful in assessing where I stand,” Vinesh said about the camp.
Along with Akos, Vinesh will also travel with her sparring partner Priyanka Phogat and her physiotherapist Poornima Raman Ngomdir.
The cost of the programme, which will be incurred by the government, is estimated to be approximately Rs 15.51 lakhs (about USD 21,000) and it will include airfare, local transportation, boarding and lodging charges and out of pocket allowance.
Akos believes that the training camp will help Vinesh immensely in improving her technical and tactical aspects. That will eventually increase her chances of getting a medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Phogat won the bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships, which helped her in qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in the 53 Kg category. Apart from that, Vinesh is also a two-time Commonwealth Gold medalist. With these achievements already in her bag, Vinesh has her eyes firmly set on an Olympic medal.