HomeAthletesKD Jadhav Story – First Indian Olympic Medalist
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KD Jadhav Story – First Indian Olympic Medalist

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Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav a veteran wrestler, also known as Pocket Dynamo, was the first Indian Olympic medalist in an individual sport. He won it at the age of just 27 years. KD Jadhav was born in a small town Goleshwar in Satara district of Maharashtra in 1926. He fought wrestlers much bigger in size and defeated them in minutes despite of being short and lean.

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Despite of lack of support from school and teachers, Jadhav was adamant. He often got mocked in the wrestling fraternity for his short height and lean physique.

About KD Jadhav

Information Details
Full Name Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
Nickname(s) Pocket Dynamo, KD
Citizenship • British India (1926–1947)
• India (1947–1984)
Born 15 January 1926
Place of Birth Satara, Satara district, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died 14 August 1984 (aged 58)
Place of Death Karad, Maharashtra, India
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight 54 kg (119 lb)
Sport Wrestling
Country India
Event(s) Freestyle
Coached by Rees Gardner
Olympic Medal Bronze – 1952 Helsinki- Bantamweight

Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav’s Career

KD Jadhav at the Helsinki Olympics | KreedOn
Image Source: Firstsportz
  • KD Jadhav trained dedicatedly for years, and he rose to fame in 1948. He defeated the reigning flyweight champion Niranjan Das. Niranjan from Bengal was over 6 feet tall and could eclipse him. Jadhav on the other hand was just 5 feet 5 inches tall but he managed to pin down Niranjan. He triumphed with an astounding victory of 3-0 and went on to qualify for 1948 London Olympics.
  • In 1948 London Olympics, he was ranked 6th in flyweight category. But KD Jadhav never gave up hope and trained harder and kept at it.
  • His hard work finally paid off in 1952 Helsinki Olympics, where he bagged the first Olympic Medal in an individual event for India.
  • The Olympic medalist then joined the Maharashtra Police as sub-inspector and served his country for 28 Years.
  • Jadhav won many wrestling bouts at the police games and also trained many in the sport. He retired as assistant commissioner of Police.
  • Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav was honoured with Arjuna Award in 2000 but unfortunately, he passed away in 1984.

KD Jadhav – The Olympic Medalist

khashaba dadasaheb jadhav | KreedOn
Image Courtesy: Whatsthenews
  • People of Goleshwar take pride in Jadhav’s Olympic victory, so they built a five rings interlock Olympic sculpture at a public square. You can still find picture of Jadhav in Gym’s, where mentors motivate students with Jadhav’s stories, describing how he emerged as a winner against all odds.
  • He is just one, among the many great Indian wrestlers. Wrestling has a heritage in India which has always been carried forward by many other wrestlers like ‘The Goonga Pehalwan‘.

KD Jadhav: Only Olympic medalist not to receive Padma Award

He gave back all the money he had borrowed from people as a debt after the Olympics. He arranged multiple fights and contests, distributing the winnings to his debtors. Sadly, the Indian wrestler died in a motorcycle accident in 1984. In 2001, he was given the Arjuna Award posthumously. During the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the wrestling ring at the IGI arena was dubbed the “KD Jadhav stadium” in his honor.

In an interview with Rediff, his son Ranjit Jadhav stated, “He said that he would like to be reborn as a wrestler—the sport had given him some of the best moments of his life.”

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