India is a country with a rich Wrestling history as Indian wrestlers are born fighters rather than made by training. The root of it is seen in the ancient past as well. It was popular by many names during ancient times such as kushti, dangal, malla-yudh and many more.
In the early days, this sport showed the fitness and power of a person. However, with time it has also evolved hugely. During the earlier times, the sport was just a means of entertainment in small villages all over the country.
But with time it reached international tournaments like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. This has really been huge for the sport itself. As the sport is native to India, there have always been many great wrestlers in this sport. Just as the game has evolved, so have the wrestlers as well.
Indian wrestlers have made a mark in almost all International competitions and championships by finishing on the podium. Many great wrestlers have represented India throughout history.
Today we are going to look at the top three wrestlers who have represented India in Wrestling.
Top 3 Greatest Indian Wrestlers
3. Sakshi Malik
Born on 3rd September 1992 in Rohtak (Haryana), Sakshi Malik started her training at the young age of 12 under Ishwar Dahiya. She got her first professional success in the year 2010. She won the Bronze medal in 58kg freestyle at the Junior World Championship.
She continued her rise in 2012 as she won a Gold medal in Asian Junior Championship as well. In the very next year, Sakshi won the Commonwealth Championship in the 63kg category.
She won a Silver medal in the 58kg category in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In 2015 Asian Championships, she won the Bronze medal. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, she with her performance won the Bronze medal and was continuously winning a major medal every year till 2019.
Sakshi was honored with Khel Ratna Award in 2016 India’s highest honor for a sportsperson. In 2017 she was awarded the Padma Shri. In the same year, Sakshi married Indian freestyle wrestler Satyawart Kadian. She has been a big inspiration to girls all over India.
2. Yogeshwar Dutt
Born on 2 November 1982, Yogeshwar Dutt is an retired Indian freestyle wrestler. He was born in Sonipat, Haryana. Yogeshwar started training when he was eight years old under coach Ramphal.
Yogeshwar’s first professional success came when he won the Bronze medal in 60kg category at the 2006 Asian Games.
He grabbed the Gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. His most famous achievement came when he won the Bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics. In 2014 Yogeshwar won two more Gold, one in Asian Games and the other one in Commonwealth Games. He has retired from the sport now.
Yogeshwar is at present an active politician and he coaches in his academy. After his Olympics bronze medal, Yogeshwar was honored with the Khel Ratna Award and was later awarded the Padma Shri.
1. Sushil Kumar
Sushil Kumar was born near Najafgarh in Southwest Delhi on 26th May 1983. His father inspired him to pursue wrestling. He started his training at the age of 14 in the Chhatrasal Stadium where his coach was Satpal Singh.
Sushil tasted his first success in 1998 at the World Cadet Games. In 2000 he won the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship. After that in 2003, he won the Gold medal in Commonwealth Wrestling Championship and the Bronze medal in Asian Wrestling Championship.
Although Sushil had a bad 2004 Olympics, he finished fourth in the World Championship. He became the first Indian after K.D Jadav to win an Olympic medal, as he won the Bronze medal in 2008 Olympics. In the 2012 London Olympics, he bettered his previous achievement as he won the Silver medal. After such a great career Sushil has retired from the sport.
In 2006, Sushil was honored with the Arjuna Award by the Indian Government. He also received the Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honor. Sushil gave Indian wrestling an identity and has over the years become an idol.
At present, he is employed in the Indian Railways. According to me, he is one of the greatest wrestler to ever represent India in Wrestling.
Opinions may differ, but these three will certainly be among the greatest Indian wrestler.
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