Bala Rafique Shaikh achieved the Maharashtra Kesari 2018 title on Sunday by defeating Abhijeet Katke of Pune in the wrestling duel held at Azad ground, Jalna, Maharashtra. He defeated Abhijeet Katke 11-3 in the one-sided match.
Bala in his aggressive style began with some good moves and gradually increased his lead over Abhijeet, finally taking away the 2018 title from the last year’s winner. Bala Rafique Shaikh was honoured with a silver mace weighing 1.5 Kg and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.
Maharashtra Kesari is an Indian-style reputed wrestling championship, established in 1961 in Maharashtra. ‘Kesari’ is a Sanskrit word for ‘Lion’. The recent concluded was the 62nd Maharashtra Kesari Wrestling Championship.
बुलढाण्याचे बाला रफिक शेख यांनी #महाराष्ट्रकेसरी चा खिताब जिंकला, त्यांचे मनःपूर्वक अभिनंदन!
महाराष्ट्राला त्यांचा अभिमान आहे!
Many congratulations to Bala Rafiq Shekh from Buldhana for clinching #MaharashtraKesari title!
Maharashtra is proud of you!
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) December 23, 2018
Who is Bala Rafique Shaikh
Coming from the wrestling family background, Bala Rafique left his home at the age of 13 and went to Kolhapur New Motibag Talim for wrestling. He is the disciple of former Hind Kesari Late Ganpatrao Anandalkar. Bala has also learned important wrestling lessons from 2-times Maharashtra Kesari Champion Chandrahar Patil. At present, he practices in Pune’s Hanuman Wrestling centre.
Abhijeet Katke: 2017 Maharashtra Kesari Champion
Pune-based Abhijeet Katke had won the last year’s Maharashtra Kesari title. He has practised vigorously in Shivram Dada Talim under the guidance of a foreign wrestling coach. Abhijeet has entered the finals of Maharashtra Kesari for three consecutive times. He is the disciple of Amar Nimbalkar.
Narsing Yadav holds the record of achieving the title three times consecutively from 2011 to 2013. In 2016, Vijay Chaudhary equalled the record of Narsing Yadav by winning Maharashtra Kesari title three times consecutively from 2014 to 2016.
Ganpat Khedkar, Laxman Wadar, Chamba Mutnaal, Dadu Chougule and Chandrahar Patil have twice won the Maharashtra Kesari title. Yuvraj Patil is the youngest Maharashtra Kesari title winner till date, who won the title at the age of 17. Dinkar Patil was the first winner of Maharashtra Kesari in 1961.
The winners of Maharashtra Kesari are also eligible to apply for government jobs under sports quota.
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