Wrestling to emerge in a new avatar

Wrestling will emerge in a new avatar, in boxing style, on a ring instead of a mat, in the first KD Jadhav memorial international championship to be staged at the Talkatora NDMC Indoor Stadium, on September 15.

Abhinav Bindra, Sangram Singh Akhil Kumar (second from right) in New Delhi on Friday.   -  PTI

Wrestling will emerge in a new avatar, in boxing style, on a ring instead of a mat, in the first KD Jadhav memorial international championship to be staged at the Talkatora NDMC Indoor Stadium, on September 15.

At the announcement press conference here on Thursday, the country’s only individual Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra appreciated the effort of the organisers, Sangram Singh Foundation, on their initiative to give more competition for the athletes, and also honour the memory of the country’s first individual Olympic medallist, KD Jadhav.

There will be five bouts, including one for women, and the entire event is scheduled to be telecast ‘live’ by Doordarshan.

“It is always good to have more competition to increase the level of competition in the country. Work hard, persevere and enjoy the journey,’’ said Abhinav Bindra.

The sponsor of the event, Subhash Jewria, felt that the initiative could be a game changer for the sport in the country and assured all support, “with all my energy’’.

Olympian boxers Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar also appreciated the effort to revive the memory of KD Jadhav.

Unlike traditional wrestling that spans two spells of three minutes each, the new venture will spread over six rounds of three minutes each, with 45 seconds interval.

“The referee will not stop the bout by a fall, and it will continue,’’ said Sangram Singh who himself would be fighting the American star wrestler Kevin Radford.

There will also be boxing style count, allowing ten seconds for the battered wrestler to regain his ground.

Meanwhile, Abhinav stayed clear of the various lines of arguments when he was asked about the points system for deciding the Arjuna awards, or for that matter the methodology of selecting coaches for Dronacharya award, and the suggestion of a Padma award for the late KD Jadhav.

However, when asked about Indian shooting, the former World and Olympic champion was confident that the sport would continue to deliver results on the world stage owing to the tremendous depth in a variety of events.

Sangram Singh who has played many roles as an athlete, and had been confined to a wheel chair for eight years, said that he understood the pain of the athletes and would whole heartedly attempt to improve their standard through many such initiatives.

The new format is expected to be taken to many cities across the country in due course of time.