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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Kavita Devi opens up about life in WWE, wants to pave way for Indian talent

Kavita Devi made the country proud by winning the gold medal in women’s weightlifting 75 kg at the 2016 South Asian Games.

other-sports Updated: Dec 23, 2018 19:59 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Indian wrestler Kavita Devi.
File image of Indian wrestler Kavita Devi.(WWE Image/ Twitter)
         

A lot has changed for Kavita Devi in the last year and a half. When this reporter last interviewed her in 2017, the former power-lifter was part of the Indian contingent taking part in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) tryouts in Dubai. Since then, she has become the first ever Indian women to sign for the company and her appearances at the Mae Young Classic and this year’s WrestleMania has made her a torchbearer for the country in a business where not many Indians have succeeded in the past.

However, when asked about her success, Kavita was quick to explain that she is not looking for accolades and her biggest concern is to improve her craft. “I do not know whether I will win a title in a month or even a year. But, my main motive is to train hard and to improve my work. That is the part that I control and that is what I will continue to do,” she told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.

Even before her introduction to the world of professional wrestling, Kavita was an established athlete. She was well known for her power-lifting and in 2016, she made the country proud by winning the gold medal in women’s weightlifting 75 kg at the 2016 South Asian Games.

Months later, Kavita joined Continental Wrestling Entertainment – a promotion owned by The Great Khali – and hence, started her journey in pro-wrestling. Now, as the only Indian women wrestler in the WWE, she wants to help the young Indian talents to make their way into the promotion.

“I feel fortunate that I became the first Indian woman to join WWE. But, there is also a bit of pressure because I need to pave the way for other Indian women. I want to help them in every way possible and I hope that I will be able to become a role model for all the young girls in this country,” she said.

The dream does not look that farfetched at the moment as WWE will be holding their first tryouts in India in March 2019. With the tryouts coming to India, it is a good chance for the local talent to showcase their talent and Kavita is of the opinion that this is benefit the women aspirants.

“During my time, I had to go to Dubai and it was the only girl from India. Now, the popularity has grown and with the tryouts in Mumbai, women can come in large numbers to compete,” she pointed out.

On the personal front, her appearances for WWE has been quite limited but the clip of her fighting in a salwar kameez in the Mae Young Classic became quite popular on social media. Although she eventually lost the match to Dakota Kai, her popularity grew considerably among the Indian audience.

“I have seen the clip but my husband keeps watching it over and over again,” she said with a smile.

First Published: Dec 23, 2018 19:44 IST

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