Wrestling is a popular sport and one of the oldest in India. Although Indian wrestling has been practiced as a fitness exercise or a source of entertainment, it has evolved into a combat sport that teaches control and develops agility.
Several regional styles of wrestling exist in the country, including kushti, ‘Dangal’ and ‘Malla-yuddh’. Indian wrestlers have reached great heights by winning medals at international tournaments like Commonwealth Games and Olympics. Here are some of the greatest Indian wrestlers of all time:
1. Yogeshwar Dutt
As a freestyle wrestler, Yogeshwar Dutt won the bronze medal at 60 kg at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is one of three Indian wrestlers to have won an Olympic medal. He has also won national laurels like the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri awards.
The wrestler has participated in many national and international championships, including the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Summer Olympics. Dutt obtained the best positions in these tournaments and won several gold medals.
2. Sushil Kumar
Sushil Kumar is a former wrestler from India who won the Olympic bronze and silver medals respectively at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. opening of the 2012 London Olympics.
Kumar has received India’s highest honor for sportspersons, namely the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award. He also presented the Queen’s Baton to Prince Charles during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The wrestler has won several medals for his country on various international platforms. He won the gold medal in the 74 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
3. Sakshi Malik
Sakshi Malik is an Indian freestyle wrestler who became the first woman to win an Olympic medal for the country. She won the bronze medal in the 58 kg weight class at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Malik started her wrestling career in 2010 at the World Junior Championships where she won a bronze medal in the women’s division. 58kg.
Malik’s immense passion for the sport and his dedication have earned him several medals at the Asian Championships and Commonwealth Games. She has also received national laurels like the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Padma Shri Award. You can bet on wrestling events at Bet Station’s top sports betting sites.
4. Dalip Singh Rana
Dalip Singh Rana is an Indian wrestler famous under his ring name The Great Khali. Singh began his professional wrestling career in 2000 playing for All Pro Wrestling in the United States.
In 2007, he became WWE World Heavyweight Champion and Slammy Award winner. He was the first Indian wrestler to sign a contract with the wrestling entertainment company. Singh has also signed contracts with World Championship Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
5. Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
KD Jadhav is an athlete from independent India who won a bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics, becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic medal.
Jadhav competed in two Olympics during his career and retired from international sports in 1955 to join the Mumbai Police. Jadhav’s father introduced him to wrestling when he was just five years old. He also participated in the 1948 Summer Olympics and won two events.
6. Bajrang Punia
Bajrang Punia made his professional wrestling debut at the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championships where he earned a bronze medal. He is the only Indian wrestler to have won three medals at the World Wrestling Championships.
Punia managed to get a medal in every event he participated in. He won six gold medals in various international tournaments between 2016 and 2018. He also received national accolades like Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri.