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  Sports   In Other sports  15 Jan 2018  Kolhapur wrestler Reshma Mane lucky entrant in PWL

Kolhapur wrestler Reshma Mane lucky entrant in PWL

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 15, 2018, 1:30 am IST
Updated : Jan 15, 2018, 1:30 am IST

20-year-old started off her journey by helping her father, a sugarcane farmer. Now, she has replaced Geeta Phogat in the ring.

We have heard many stories of people with humble backgrounds climbing to the top over the years.
 We have heard many stories of people with humble backgrounds climbing to the top over the years.

Reshma Mane had never thought of setting foot in the ring back when she was helping her father at his sugarcane shop, but the plucky 20-year-old has now replaced the popular Geeta Phogat for UP Dangal in this edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL). The ‘Dangal Queen’ Phogat has been reported unfit to play.

We have heard many stories of people with humble backgrounds climbing to the top over the years. But the journey of Reshma, who rose to fight among 20 Olympics and World championship medallists, is incredible. She became the first girl from Maharashtra to participate in the third season of the PWL, entering the ring with Rio Olympics Bronze medallist Sakshi Malik in her first game.

Unfortunately for Reshma, the experienced Sakshi was in no mood to allow any lapses as she won the battle by 16-0 in 62kg women’s match. They had met earlier Commonwealth Wrestling (CW) Championship trials where grabbing just three points against the Olympian made Mane’s day.

“I am a big fan of her (Malik). Her game and body structure is great. When I faced her in CW trials, I got three points against her, it was a proud moment for me and my father,” said Reshma who went on to win a Gold in the 63kg category in the same competition.

Born and brought up in a family  that boasted five wrestlers including her cousins, Mane has heard the inspirational stories of wrestling legend K.D. Jadhav and ‘Hind Kesari’ Maruti Mane, another great wrestler of ’60s and ’70s since her childhood.  

Vedange is a small area in Kolhapur and that is where the grappler honed her skills. Her story is quite similar to Aamir Khan and Fatima Sana Shaikh’s Dangal, which loosely portrayed the Phogat family. Mane’s father gave up his dream as he could not manage his family and wrestling. He turned to his sugarcane farm to help his finances.  

We often hear complaints from athletes subjecting the lack of infrastructure made available by the state. Surprisingly, Mane’s hamlet does not have the same story. After her success, Chandrakant Patil who is also from Kolhapur and serves in the Cabinet ministry of Maharashtra, created an arena appo-inting tra-ined coa-ches just to tutor Mane.

“He (Patil) has built a big arena and they have spent a lot of money, especially for me. They have called coaches who know the sport well and have also laid down mats,” explains Mane who does not have to practice in the mud anymore.

Playing alongside senior wrestlers Phogat and Malik, whom she calls ‘didi’ out of respect, one can see the spark in her eyes as she strives to achieve the dream of her father, who has been encouragin her since she was six years old.

Tags: geeta phogat, pro wrestling league, reshma mane