New Delhi: Geeta Phogat, the first female wrestler from India to qualify for the Olympics, Wednesday felt that she had opened doors for women wrestlers of the country to excel in the sport.
Geeta participated in the London Olympics in the 55kg freestyle category but was unable to win a medal.
"When Sushil (Kumar) won a bronze in Beijing, people took notice and their interest grew in the sport. I feel my participation has opened doors for other women to ome into the sport," said a delighted Geeta after receiving the Arjuna Award at Rashtrapathi Bhavan.
Geeta, who also became India`s first ever gold medallist in women`s wrestling at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, said that receiving the award from President Pranab Mukherjee has inspired her to achieve greater things in life.
"I am in the presence of such great people. This has given me the motivation to do better things and I will strive to get a medal at the next Olympics," she said.
The wrestler praised the sports ministry for the support.
"We were given a lot of support and I want to thank the sports ministry. They sent us abroad to train with the top level athletes and I feel this is the way forward."
"Wrestling is a sport that is growing by the day. We have great infrastructure setup for budding wrestlers to thrive in. The facility in Patiala is world-class and these sort of things will go a long way into popularising the sport."