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Vinesh Phogat, Face Of Wrestlers Protest, Withdraws From Budapest Ranking Series 2023 Due To Food Poisoning; Sister Sangeeta Phogat Clinches Bronze

Sangeeta Phogat, who is also the wife of Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia, clinched bronze in women’s 59kg category. Bajrang congratulated her by tweeting a photo of Sangeeta posing with the medal.

Vinesh Phogat, Face Of Wrestlers Protest, Withdraws From Budapest Ranking Series 2023 Due To Food Poisoning; Sister Sangeeta Phogat Clinches Bronze Vinesh Phogat, on left and Sangeeta posing with medal, on right. (Source: Twitter)

India's ace grappler, Vinesh Phogat, withdrew from the Budapest Ranking Series 2023 due to illness on the eve of the competition, according to Olympics.com. Vinesh Phogat, a two-time world championships medallist and the reigning Asian Games champion, was expected to compete in the 55kg weight class on Saturday. However, according to Olympics.com, the wrestler informed the organisers as well as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) about Phogat's inability to participate in the competition due to "fever and food poisoning".

Three days ago, the National Anti-Doping Agency issued a notice to Vinesh Phogat for "apparent failure" to comply with the whereabouts requirements of the Anti-Doping Rules, and give her two weeks to respond.

Vinesh’s withdrawal from the Ranking Series left her sister, Sangeeta Phogat, as the only Indian wrestler to take part in the Budapest meet. Sarita Mor (women’s 59kg), Sujeet (men’s 65kg), and Greco-Roman wrestler Sunil Kumar (87kg) were listed to compete in the ranking series but they withdrew from the tournament earlier.

Sangeeta ended the meet on a remarkable note as she clinched the bronze play-off by 6-2 against the crowd favourite Hungarian Viktoria Borsos, who is the U-20 World Championship silver medallist.

Competing in the women’s 59kg, Sangeeta Phogat began the series with a defeat against USA’s Jennifer Page Rogers, in the first round. But she bounced back to register a victory against another American grappler, Brenda Olivia Reyna, via technical superiority in round three.

In the semi-finals, Sangeeta suffered a 6-4 defeat to Magdalena Urszula Glodek of Poland and entered the bronze medal match. Sangeeta began the semi-final round with double-leg attacks but she failed to convert her moves into points.

She led twice, first 2-0 and then by 4-2, but Glodek’s counter-attacking shifted the momentum in her favour and end the contest with a 6-4 win. This year, Indian grapplers have won two bronze medals each in the Zagreb and Ibrahim Moustafa ranking series tournaments. At the Bishkek ranking series, India won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals. The Budapest meet is also known as the Polyak Imre & Varga Janos Memorial wrestling tournament. This tournament is the year's fourth and final ranking series.