Battle of the ‘titans’: Chandrahar Patil will have to wrestle it out with Abhijeet Katke for third Maharashtra Kesari title
Chandrahar, who is from originally Khanapur, had won the prestigious title in 2007 in Auraganbad and defended his title in 2008 at Kadegaon. However, he missed the hat-trick in 2009 at the event held at Pimpri-Chinchwad. Following this, he was out of action due to an injury and since then, hasn’t been able to win the title.pune Updated: Dec 19, 2017 21:57 IST
Two-time winner Chandrahar Patil from Sangli will be fighting it out for his third title at the Maharashtra Kesari wrestling competition in Bhugaon from Wednesday.He will face stiff competition from last year’s runner-up Abhijeet Katke from Pune, Sagar Birajdar and Shivraj Rakshe.
Chandrahar, who is from originally Khanapur, had won the prestigious title in 2007 in Auraganbad and defended his title in 2008 at Kadegaon. However, he missed the hat-trick in 2009 at the event held at Pimpri-Chinchwad. Following this, he was out of action due to an injury and since then, hasn’t been able to win the title.
Narsing Yadav holds the record for winning the title three times consecutively from 2011 to 2013 and from 2014, Vijay Chaudhary equalled his record by winning three times in a row. Ganpat Khedkar, Chamba Mutnaal, Laxman Wadar, Dadu Chougule and Chandrahar Patil have each won the title twice. Now, Patil is also aiming to join them this year.
Other faces to look out for
Abhijeet is a 21-year-old wrestler who trains with Bharat Mhaske and Hanumant Gaikwad at Shivramdada Talim, Pune. He lost to Jalgaon’s Vijay Choudhari in the final last year. Yuvaraj Patil holds the record of being the youngest winner at the age of 17.
Sagar Birajdar is the son of noted wrestler Harishchandra Birajdar, who was a gold medallist in the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. Harishchandra was a Hind Kesari title holder and was awarded Dyanchand Award in 2006. Keeping the legacy, Sagar won the bronze medal in 2013 senior nationals and in the 2016 all-India inter railway wrestling competition. He has also won a gold medal at the all-India university tournament in 2014. He is yet to win the Maharashtra Kesari title.
Other top wrestlers include Tanaji Jhunjurke and Sainath Ranwade (both from Pune); Kiran Bhagat of Satara, Mahesh Varute and Kautuk Dafale, both from Kolhapur; Mauli Jamdade and Mahadeo Sargar, both from Solapur along with Suraj Kokate, Ganesh Jagtap, Abhishek Turkewadkar, Tanaji Virkar and Jyotiba Atkal.
Women wrestlers in Maharashtra Kesari
Women wrestlers will also be competing in Maharashtra Kesari for the first time. A contest between Maharashtra’s Ankita Gund and Haryana’s Mamata has been scheduled on Saturday, December 23, to promote participation of women in wrestling.
Legacy of the silver mace
The silver mace, the prize for the winner of Maharshtra Kesari, has a deep rooted tradition. Thousands of people gather to watch the final bout of Maharashtra Kesari, which began in 1961 and since then, a silver mace is given as the prize.
Till 1982, the mace was given by Maharashtra State Wrestling Association, but since then, MP Ashok Mohol began sponsoring the mace in memory of his father Mamasaheb Mohol.
The mace is normally 27-30 inches long with a 10-inch head. It is made of wood and then plated with silver.
The events are being held under the aegis of Maharashtra State Wrestling Association (MSWA) in association with Mulshi Taluka Wrestling Association, Mallasamrat Pratishthan and the villagers of Bhugaon.
First Published: Dec 19, 2017 21:54 IST