The lesser-known of the Phogat sisters, Ritu says she will strive to achieve more than her two illustrious siblings by winning an Olympic medal, which has so far eluded the famous wrestling family, and realise her father’s “unfulfilled dream”.
“Our father’s dream of us winning an Olympic medal is still unfulfilled. I think I can win an Olympic medal and accomplish my father’s wish,” says Ritu.
Inspired by the story of the two elder Phogat sisters—Geeta and Babita—and their hard taskmaster father Mahavir Singh, the Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Dangal’ proved to be the highest grossing Bollywood movie of all time.
Confident of making a mark at the international level, Ritu hopes the two younger Phogat sisters—Sangita being the other—also achieve great heights on the wrestling mat so that ‘Dangal 2’ could be made on their lives.
“I hope that Dangal 2 is made on me and Sangita after we win Olympic medals. I am looking forward to winning gold medals at both Commonwealth Games and Asiad next year but my ultimate goal remains the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” the 22-year-old reveals to PTI.
Ritu feels she needs to improve her defensive skills.
“I have to work a bit on my technique and a lot on improving my defence. That is one area where I am still lacking and it requires some amount of work if I want to do well at the international level,” says the youngster.
Being a part of the Jaipur Ninjas team in the just-concluded second edition of Pro Wrestling League, Ritu says she has learnt a lot from the foreign players.
“This league has given me an opportunity to fight with top wrestlers of the world and I have learnt a lot from them. I keep asking them questions and could learn many nuances of the game. Just by interacting with them and watching them, I could grasp so much,” explains Ritu.
Sangita, who represented Delhi Sultans at PWL-2, says she enjoyed playing in a team competition.
“When you are playing as an individual, the entire responsibility is on you, but in a team competition the pressure is less, I think. Even if you don’t do well on a particular day, there are others to chip in. So there is less burden on you. I wasn’t scared and enjoyed myself thoroughly,” says Sangita, who is all set to attend the senior national camp, starting in February.
Fortunate to have partnered back-to-back Olympic silver medallist Mariya Stadnik during Delhi Sultan’s practice sessions, Sangita says it has done her a world of good.
“I have just graduated to the senior level from junior level and getting such an exposure straight away was wonderful. I was very lucky to be partnering Mariya during our practice sessions, so that would help me in the future.”