India’s star wrestler Vinesh Phogat said that she was distraught after learning that the Tokyo Olympics ‘would be postponed by a year, a decision that was made on Wednesday by the authorities.
The Asian Games champion said she felt a feeling of emptiness as the world deals with the deadly coronavirus, which has led to more than 19,600 deaths at the time of writing. “I maintain a diary in which I write everything – my weekly plans, thoughts on my training, dreams, ambitions – I was in the zone,” she told Indian Express.
Phogat was training when she got the news of the Olympics being moved to 2021, the first time the Summer Games has been postponed during peacetime.
“I had just begun my training when my phone started buzzing,” Phogat said. “I did not look at it because I knew what it was about. And then when my physio broke the news of postponement, I packed up and went home. Khalipan sa ho gaya [there is a feeling of emptiness],” she added.
For Phogat, it is now a return to the drawing board as she was solely training for the Olympics in the months gone by. The 25-year-old was touted as one of India’s best medal prospects in Tokyo.
“Everything has to be started all over again. All the hard work and training I had been doing has gone out of the window,” she told ESPN.
“Every day when I woke up, I had a purpose as I knew that the Olympics was approaching. But when I heard the news, it felt like I was a child and someone had just snatched something away from my hand.
“Normally I try to avoid negative thoughts. But when I heard on TV the possibility of the Olympics getting cancelled, I was taken aback. My mind just went numb. I laid on my bed for 15 minutes. It was at that moment when I thought ‘should I even go and train?’ Then I forced myself to get up,’” she added.