Vinesh Phogat has given Indian wrestling a massive shot in the arm and has made the country proud in 2019. The star wrestler, who enjoyed a magnificent run in 2018, has been nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award in 2019. She has been nominated in the Laureus “World Sporting Comeback” category for the year and her other competitors are golfing great Tiger Woods, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, American alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Manyu, and Dutch para-snowboarding star Bibian Mentel-Spee. Kenyan marathon world record-breaker Eliud Kipchoge, tennis world No 1 Novak Djokovic and NBA great LeBron James are the others.
Vinesh was one of the upcoming stars in the world of wrestling and was in a good position to win a medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, in the women’s freestyle 48kg quarterfinal against China’s Sun Yanan, she injured her knee badly and many feared that she may not be able to wrestle again. However, doctors said that it was a tendon tear and not a fracture and that she would regain fitness again.
In 2018, Vinesh became the golden girl of Indian wrestling. She won gold in Women's Freestyle 50 kg event by defeating Canada's Jessica MacDonald in the 50 kg category to win India's first gold in the women's wrestling category at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. In the 2018 Asian Games, she created history as she became the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in the Asian Games by beating Japan's Yuki Irie in Women's 50 kg Freestyle Wrestling gold medal match. With her performances in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Vinesh is one of the best bets for a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award ceremony honouring individuals and teams from the world of sports along with sporting achievements throughout the year. It was established in 1999 by Laureus Sport for Good Foundation founding patrons Daimler and Richemont. he awards support the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which supports over 100 community projects in around 40 countries. These projects aim to use the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, and prove that sport has the power to change the world. The name "Laureus" is derived from the Greek word for laurel, considered a traditional symbol of victory in athletics.