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Indian Wrestling: the Narsingh Tale

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Image Credit: hindustantimes.com/AFP

Little known that born on 6th August, 1989 Narsingh Yadav will or not come out winner against the controversies related to his participation. As his birthday and first Olympics appearance is due in next 5 days. Let’s get insights about this Indian lad who may or may not take the last flight for Rio Olympics.

Pancham Yadav and Bhulna Devi made sacrifices to bring up both of their children Narsingh and Vinod. Eventually the sons of milk distributor in Mumbai went ahead to become wrestlers (and also Narsingh is the Dy SP with Maharashtra Government). Narsingh started training for wrestling since the age of 13 and never looked back. Contrary to his idol and counterpart Sushil he is 26 yrs old, quick and ready to carry forward the legacy of Sushil Kumar.

The medal tally of Narsingh started in 2010 when he won a gold medal in the Asian Championships in freestyle 74 kgs category. He was last minute entry in 2010 Commonwealth Games when he surprised everyone with his winning streak by defeating Richard Brian Addinall of South Africa and bagged the gold medal.

The journey of an athlete doesn’t end until he has won Olympic medal with pride and glory. Narsingh started realizing his dream step by step by qualifying and winning championships. His 2012 Olympic dreams was steps away when he won silver medal in Commonwealth Championship in 2011, few moths later it was shattered when he lost his qualifying bout against Matt Gentry of Canada. But he didn’t stop, he kept on trying and preparing for the games.

He continued living his dream for Olympics by winning bronze medal in 2014 Asian Games and keeping his hope alive. Year 2015 was for Narsingh Yadav when he made it to both Asian and World Wrestling Championships and finishing on the podium. Other than his Commonwealth Gold medal in Delhi he made it to podium with silver and bronze medals.

Narsingh qualified for the Rio Olympics with his consistent performances with finish on podiums but the dangal wasn’t over yet. Sushil used to bout for 66 kg category and his decision to fight in 74kgs category upset Narsingh. After all,  Sushil is favorite of India because he is the only athlete to win two medals back to back in the Olympics.

Slowly and steadily athletes were gearing up and preparing for Rio Olympics but Narsingh was battling off court. He raised the question on higher authorities and struggled to catch the flight to Rio. Even after winning India’s sole medal at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships he is facing difficulties in his Olympic road due to failed dope test. However, he has got clean chit by NADA and final call for Rio stands on IOC and WADA’s decision to allow or stop him.

In Olympics, there is no prize money that attracts the sportspersons to perform at this platform, but it is the pride and glory that every athlete put their heart and soul in for. Wait of four years,  sustaining the injury, battling all odds to qualify for the Olympics is something every athletes has gone through. There is no shortcut to winning an Olympic berth and very few make it to the lucky lot. As this time 120 athletes from India have qualified for the games, let’s hope that Narsingh is one of them.