Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat was approved a grant of ₹20.21 lakhs by the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) last week.
Phogat is a former Asian Games Gold medalist and she secured her Tokyo Olympics berth in the Women’s 53 Kg freestyle category after a good performance in the 2019 World Wrestling Championships.
The Tokyo Olympics was scheduled to be held last year but had to be postponed due to the ranging COVID-19 pandemic. It is now scheduled to take place from 23 July to 8 August this year.
The MOC has approved Phogat the additional grant of ₹20.21 lakhs so that she can train in Europe to prepare herself better for the marque event. The 26-year-old will stay in Budapest, Hungary, until June 9. She will also compete in the World Ranking Series scheduled to take place between June 9 and 13 in Poland.
Apart from this additional grant, Phogat had also received ₹1.13 crore from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) to allow her in getting some international exposure.
Phogat has had a very memorable career so far. She is the first Indian Woman Wrestler to win Gold in both Commonwealth and Asian games. She also became the first Indian Athlete to be nominated for the for Laureus World Sports Awards in 2019. She ans her family received worldwide fame when a Bollywood movie based on their life, Dangal, with Aamir Khan in the lead role of their father Mahavir Singh Phogat, was released in 2016.
Besides Phogat, the MOC has also arranged an international exposure tour for national men’s double scull rowing team of Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat. A grant of ₹21 Lakhs has been approved for them and they will train in Portugal from June 1. Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna are two other athletes who have received financial grants from the Indian government so far.