Vinesh Phogat: Only Indian Woman to win 2 World Wrestling Championship Medals

  • 15 Sep 2022

Star Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat beat Sweden's Jonna Malmgren to win a bronze medal in 53kg at the World Wrestling Championships 2022 in Belgrade.

  • This is Vinesh's second medal at the Worlds after she won her maiden world medal in 2019.
  • She is the only Indian woman who had achieved this feat.
  • She made a qualification round exit at the hands of Mongolia’s Khulan Batkhuyag. The eventual silver medallist triumphed in the bout 7-0 against Vinesh. However, luck favoured the Indian soon as she entered the bronze medal rounds via repechage.
  • Vinesh dominated the repechage rounds as she pinned two-time World Championship medallist Zhuldyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan in the first bout, followed by a walkover win over Azerbaijan’s Leyla Gurbanova, to set up a final clash with reigning European champion Malmgren.

What is Repechage?

  • The word repechage comes from a French term, repecher. It means fish out or rescue. Generally, the rule allows competitors who have lost early to get a second chance. Wrestlers who lose in pre-quarterfinals or at a later stage get a chance to fight for bronze medals.
  • The idea behind the rule is that a good wrestler who loses out to a top rival early on should not suffer just because of the tough draw.
  • Wrestlers can enter the repechage round if an opponent they have lost to reaches the final. They fight on the basis of mini-draws that involve wrestlers of their respective halves. The losing semifinalists fight only in the bronze medal playoffs.
  • Apart from wrestling, the repechage system is used in several other disciplines including baseball, softball, beach volleyball, cycling, fencing, rowing, rugby, sailing, track and field athletics, taekwondo, and karate.