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For over 1000 years, Pehlwani has been a part of India’s rich culture. We’re bound to bring great athletes since we have a great sport in our heritage. Wrestling is a sport that is not for everyone; it needs dedication and hard effort, and only a few people succeed. India has won numerous wrestling championships thanks to the efforts of a few determined athletes. Here are the best Indian Wrestlers of all time, from The Great Gama to Sushil Kumar Solanki. With their unrelenting strength, these names have not only won medals but have also made India a proud country. Let us look at some of the best wrestlers of India.
Legendary Indian Wrestlers
|Legendary Indian wrestlers
|The Great Gama
|Khasaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
Best Indian Wrestlers: Ghulam Muhammad or The Great Gama
He could move a stone weighing 1,200 kg, a job that would have taken at least 25 men. The Great Gama was a famous wrestler who the world had never seen before. Muhammad Aziz Baksh, a wrestler, gave birth to Ghulam Muhammad Baksh in Amritsar. Gama took up wrestling when his father died and went on to become a famous wrestler. The Lion of Punjab was an unstoppable force, capable of performing 5000 squats and 3000 push-ups in a day. On October 15, 1910, the unstoppable wrestler won the World Heavyweight Championship.
Best Indian Wrestlers: Dara Singh
Dara Singh was everyone’s favorite Indian wrestler, at 6ft 2inches tall with a 53-inch chest. The imposing yet endearing wrestler had established himself as a household name. He began his career as a Pehlwani fighter by fighting in amateur contests. In 1954, at the age of 26, he won the National Wrestling Champion. He has received accolades, recognition, and love from all around the country. Dara Singh earned the Commonwealth Champion by defeating the popular wrestler King Kong, who was known for his mounted blows. He was a well-known actor and politician in addition to wrestling.
Best Indian Wrestlers: Udey Chand
Udey Chand was a famous wrestler who was born in the Jandli Village of Hisar District. The Indian wrestler made history by earning a Bronze Medal in Light Weight (67 kg) Freestyle at the 1961 World Wrestling Championships. He is currently based in Hisar, where he mentors aspiring wrestlers. Kudos to the hero who reigned as India’s national champion from 1958 to 1970.
Khasaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
He is also known as KD Jadhav and is the first wrestler from Independent India to win an Olympic medal. Many Maharashtrian folktales feature him as a key figure. Even though Norman Pritchard won two silver medals for India under colonial rule in 1900, he is the first athlete from independent India to earn a medal – a bronze at the Helsinki Games. One of the characteristics that distinguished the famous Indian was his agile feet, which set him apart from other wrestlers of his day.
Best Wrestlers in India: Men
Best Wrestlers in India
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Ravi Kumar Dahiya
Wrestling in India has risen to become one of the country’s most popular Olympic sports in the last decade. And the credit goes to none other than Sushil Kumar for this emergence. He instilled among Indians the notion that they could win the world’s most prestigious sports event. He is the only Indian athlete to win two Olympic medals, and he was the first Indian wrestler to win a world title in 2010.
Yogeshwar Dutt, who is now retired, has decided to pursue politics as a new profession. The Indian grappler, on the other hand, was a combat machine during his wrestling days. He was a bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympics. Aside from that, he is a two-time Asian Championships champion and a Commonwealth Games champion too. Dutt now works as a coach at his academy in Gohana, Haryana, where he trains future Indian wrestlers.
He embodies what Indian wrestling stands for tenacity, dedication, perseverance, and discipline. He’s known as ‘Baji,’ and he’s presently one of the most popular wrestlers. In 2013, he won his first global medal, a bronze in the 60kg weight class. Punia, on the other hand, has emerged as the greatest since 2018. In 2018, a gold medal at the Asian and Commonwealth Games, followed by a silver at the World Championships, was enough to confirm his place among the greatest.
He became the first Indian wrestler to win three medals at the World Championships in Nur-Sultan in 2019 with his third medal.
Deepak Punia is one of the rising stars in Indian wrestling. He has won the Asian Championship thrice. Deepak also won gold in the World Junior Championships and silver at the World Championships in 2019. He now awaits his chance to compete in the 86kg division in the Tokyo Olympics.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya
Ravi Kumar Dahiya is an Indian freestyle wrestler who competes in the 57 kg weight category. He made his international debut in 2018 and has since won several medals, including a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships and a silver medal at the World Wrestling Championships. In the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, he won the silver medal in the 57kg category. Dahiya is known for his agility and technique on the mat.
Indian female wrestlers
|Best women wrestlers in India
Indian female wrestlers: Sakshi Malik
The professional female wrestler, who began her training at the age of 12, had success in 2010 when she won bronze in the 58 kg freestyle event at the Junior World Championships. The 2014 Dave Schultz International Tournament ended with a gold medal. After then, the golden girl of wrestling was unstoppable. Malik, a Padma Shri recipient, also won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is also the wrestling director at her alma mater university, where she earned her master’s degree in physical education.
Indian female wrestlers: Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat
Although their passionate performances made them grapplers of international renown before the Bollywood film Dangal, India’s most-loved wrestling sisters rose to stardom following the Bollywood biopic Dangal.
Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat, who were born a year apart, grew up wrestling. Mahavir Phogat, depicted in Dangal by Bollywood star Aamir Khan, was a state-level champion who was unable to continue competing. As a result of Mahavir’s encouragement, his two daughters grew formidable wrestlers at a really early age.
At the Commonwealth Championships in 2009, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat earned their first international medals. Geeta in the 55kg category and Babita in the 51kg category both won gold medals.
In 2010, Geeta Phogat became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games while Babita Phogat came up just short, capturing silver.
Indian female wrestlers: Vinesh Phogat
Wrestling runs in the Phogat family, as previously said, and it became even more apparent when a third member emerged as a superstar in the second half of the preceding decade.
Vinesh Phogat, Geeta and Babita’s cousin, is presently India’s top female wrestler.
Vinesh Phogat, who is five years younger than her cousins, began her wrestling career in the akhadas of Haryana, where she was trained by her father and uncle.
She rose to attention after winning bronze at the 2013 Asian Championships in her hometown of New Delhi and then went on to win the 48kg gold in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Later that year, she won a bronze medal at the Asian Games.
Vinesh Phogat was one among the favorites to win gold at her first Olympics in Rio 2016, but a knee injury in the quarter-final cut her ambition short.
Vinesh Phogat won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Vinesh Phogat is the Indian female wrestler who has won the most international medals, including a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav was the first Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal. He won the bronze medal in wrestling at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya won a gold medal in wrestling at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2021 in the men’s freestyle 61kg category.
Sushil Kumar is the Indian wrestler who has won the most medals at the Commonwealth Games, with four gold medals and one silver medal.