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Wrestlers draw huge crowds at Hampi Utsav

Staff Correspondent

Rajesh Tomar of U.P. crowned `Hampi Kesari'


  • Women's wrestling contest also held
  • Rural sports competition registers good turnout



    MARVELLOUS FEAT: A man lifting a boulder at the rural sports competition held to mark Hampi Utsav in Bellary on Saturday.

    HAMPI: The "Devaraj Urs Kusti Akadha" at Hampi was overcrowded as people in and around Hospet arrived to witness the wrestling matches organised as part of Hampi Utsav. What brought the crowd there were "pahilwans" (wrestlers) of national and international repute, who vied with one another for top honours.

    "Rustum-e-Hind" Harishchandra Biradar, a gold-medal winner in the Asian games, performed the traditional puja to the akadha to mark the beginning of the wrestling matches.

    Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash, Health Minister Cheluvarayaswamy, and H.R. Gaviyappa, MLA, were among those who witnessed the matches.

    Rajesh Tomar of Uttar Pradesh, who represents the country in international wrestling matches, was crowned as "Hampi Kesari" after he beat Ramesh Kumar of Delhi in a match that lasted for about five minutes. Mr. Tomar also bagged a purse of Rs. 50,000 and a silver mace.

    Sanju Harogeri of Sangli in Maharastra, who had won the "Karnataka Kesari" title, added another feather to his cap by bagging the "Hampi Kumar" title. He overpowered Fakirappa of Dharwad in two-and-a-half minutes to win the title.

    Women's wrestling

    For the second year in succession, the organisers of the Hampi Utsav provided an opportunity to women to show their prowess in the arena. This year, Maya Raj of Kerala emerged victorious by defeating Shashi Sindhu of Delhi. In another match, Parveen Bishnoi of Haryana defeated G. Sebastin. Both the winners were given a cash award of Rs. 5,000 and a silver "Kadaga" (bracelet).

    Suresh of Harapanahalli defeated Saifullah of Mariyammanahalli to claim the "Hampi Kishore" title. In all, 10 pairs of national wrestlers and 44 pairs of State and district-level wrestlers participated in the event.

    Rural sports competitions organised as part of the utsav also registered a good turnout.

    A bullock cart race, lifting of boulders and hitting pots were among the sports events organised as part of Hampi Utsav.

    Chilakanahatti Parmesh, Rajendra Yadav of Kallur in Raichur district and Eeranna and his team emerged victorious in the events in that order.

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