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Pune: Sakshi Malik to kick off wrestling contest today

Over 400 wrestlers to take part in the tournament.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
October 6, 2016 12:46:12 am
sakshi-malik-759 Sonali Todkar (63 kg) during weighing in on Wednesday for the State-level wrestling competition that begins Thursday. Former MLA Bapusaheb Pathare (right) is also seen.

THE STATE-level wrestling competition, being organised along with the Pune Mayor’s Trophy International Invitational Wrestling championship, has received an overwhelming response with about 400 entries on the final day.

The tournament will be inaugurated on Thursday by Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik who will be felicitated by the Pune Municipal Corporation with Rs 5 lakh and a Scroll of Honour.

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The competition is being organised at the Late Rajaram Bhiku Pathare Primary School’s Vithoba Maruti Pathare Indoor Stadium from Thursday to Friday. The international competition will be held between October 8 and 9.

The international wrestlers, especially from Russia, Iran, Mongolia are expected to arrive in Pune from Thursday, said chief convener of the tournament, Yogesh Dodke.

The weighing in of state-level wrestlers was completed on Wednesday. Entries have come in from Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Buldhana, Marathwada, Pune and Mumbai, said Chief Technical official Dinesh Gund.

The state-level championship will see star wrestlers representing their respective districts – Sainath Ranade (Pune), Rajendra Rajmane (Sangli), Kiran Bhagat (Satara), Vikrant Jadhav (Mumbai), Abhijeet Katke (Wagholi, Pune) are in the men’s section.

In the women’s section — Reshma Mane (Kolhapur), Ankita Gund (Pune), Manisha Divekar (Pune) and Swati Shinde (Kolhapur) — will be in action.

Corporator Mahendra Pathare said that two mats have been installed in the middle where simultaneous bouts will be held. The stadium will be witness to international event for the first time, it had earlier hosted state-level Kabaddi competition.

“We want to organise more such events in the future. Annasaheb and Bapusaheb Pathare have always promoted wrestling and we are ready to carry on their dreams. We will conduct the championship under the rules of United World Wrestling,” said Pathare.

“We have spent over Rs 1.25 crore to prepare this stadium. We intend to invest more than Rs 2 crore more to make this stadium international class,” he said.

On Thursday, after Sakshi Malik inaugurates the competition Mayor Prashant Jagtap will honour her with a Scroll of Honour and Rs 5 lakh.

Former Member of Legislative Assembly Bapusaheb Pathare, corporator Mahendra Pathare, Sakshi’s coach Mandeep Singh, Balasaheb Bodke, leaders of various political parties-Arvind Shinde (Congress), Kishore Shinde (MNS), Ganesh Bidkar (BJP), Ashok Harnaval (Shiv Sena), Siddharth Dhende (RPI) and President of the Sports Committee Sheetal Sawant will be present on the occasion.

The winner of the competition, conducted to choose wordings for the Scroll, will also be felicitated.

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