Post Tokyo 2020, India wrestlers eye fresh challenges, psychologists’ help

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The
athletes
spoke
during
a
programme
where
Tata
Motors
and
Wrestling
Federation
of
India
(WFI)
announced
extension
of
their
partnership
till
the
2024
Olympics.

When
Vinesh
was
asked
about
her
experience
in
Tokyo
where
she
made
a
shock
quarterfinal
exit,
she
said
she
“learnt
a
lot”.

“It
was
my
second
Olympics.
In
my
first
Olympics,
I
got
injured
and
now
I
suffered
defeat
and
I
would
accept
that.
I
will
work
over
the
weaknesses
before
the
upcoming
competitions.

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“At
the
senior
level,
we
don’t
have
enough
time
to
grieve
over
a
defeat,
because
the
next
Olympics
is
approaching
and
there
are
back-to-back
competitions.
It’s
one
thing
to
reach
on
top
but
to
stay
on
top
is
challenging,”
said
Vinesh.

The
26-year-old
from
Balali,
Haryana,
said
she
even
learnt
from
her
juniors
who
were
in
Tokyo.
“We
(Anshu
and
Sonam)
went
together
this
time
and
I
wish
that
we
qualify
in
all
wight
categories
the
next
time
and
give
our
best
the
Olympics,
Worlds
and
Commonwealth
and
other
championships.”

When
talented
Anshu,
who
is
rising
fast
from
the
junior
ranks,
asked
what
is
it
that
she
feels
is
needed
in
terms
of
support,
the
19-year-old
from
Nidani
mentioned
services
of
a
psychologist.

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“There
are
a
lot
of
facilities
now,
compared
to
past
but
sometimes
you
get
nervous
like
Olympics
is
a
big
stage.
If
someone
can
interact
with
us,
like
a
psychologist,
that
will
be
better,”
she
said.

Listening
to
this,
WFI
President
Brijbhushan
Sharan
Singh
admitted
that
the
Indian
team
needs
to
have
two
psychologists
travelling
with
them
all
the
time.

Bajrang
Punia,
who
won
a
bronze
in
the
65kg
category,
was
asked
what
goes
thorough
the
mind
of
the
wrestlers
when
they
trail
in
a
about
and
don’t
have
much
time
left
to
recover.

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“We
have
only
a
split
second
to
decide
which
move
we
need
to
make.
There
is
no
time
to
look
at
the
scoreboard.
All
we
need
is
to
execute
the
moves
that
we
have
practised
during
the
training,”
he
said.

Ravi
Dahiya
echoed
the
same,
saying,
“there
is
a
certain
mindset
with
which
we
go
on
the
mat.
We
are
just
focussed
on
executing
the
strategy,
nothing
else.”

Talking
about
injuries
and
rehabilitation,
Vinesh
said
it
is
important
to
stay
“calm
and
patient”.
“You
need
to
stay
away
from
negative
thoughts.
The
fear
of
injury
resurfacing
remains
in
mind
and
you
have
to
surround
yourself
with
positive
people.
Self-belief
is
paramount.”

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The
WFI
boss
urged
Tata
Motors
officials
to
consider
developing
a
facility
around
Delhi
for
managing
injuries
of
the
wrestlers.

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