A 21- year- old woman wrestler first threw an open challenge to male counterparts at a wrestling competition in Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow and then went on to defeat a male challenger within a minute into the bout.
Rani Rana, from Gwalior stunned spectators, most of whom were male, at the sports ground of the Sardar Val labbhai Pa tel Higher Secondary School in Kodariya village, when she pinned down a male challenger.
Rana was one of the woman competitors at the annual Dada Bhilchandra Sule wrestling competition held on Saturday on the occasion of Makar Sankranti in the village, about 26 km from Indore.
Hundreds of spectators were stunned when Rana jumped into the wrestling arena when the bout for the 45-kg category was announced and challenged her male counterparts for a bout .
Rana, had minutes a go defeated Chitra Yadav, 22, a wrestler from Indore in the women’s category.
Confident of a win, Vinod Prajapati, from Harsola in Mhow, accepted her challenge and within a minute he was pinned down by Rana with a “nelson hold”.
Former Olympian Kripashankar Patel lauded Rana achievement, saying the victory would not only boost her confidence, but also encourage many other women wrestlers across the state.
Rana, who recently participated in the national senior wrestling championship in New Delhi, said: “Challenging a male counterpart is not big deal for me as in the past I faced several male wrestlers in the arena.”
“The most important thing was that I wanted to show people that we are no less in strength and can beat anyone on any day,” she told Hindustan Times.
Rana, who started wrestling in 2010 and currently training at Indore’s Sports Authority of India, said she was inspired to take wrestling after she saw women wrestling in Gwalior.
Her coach, Ajay Viashnav said : “I’m confident that she can match anyone, male or female in akhara. Her future is bright and she has the potential to win medals for country...”