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How Navjot Kaur, first Indian woman to win gold at Asian Championships, charted her course from Tarn Taran to Bishkek

Navjot Kaur scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win gold at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships in Bishkek on Friday.

Navjot thrashed Japan's Miya Imai 9-1 in the final to emerge champion in the women's 65kg category.

Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik took bronze in the women's 62kg category with a hard fought 10-7 win in the play-off over Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazhakstan.

 

 

India now have a tally of one gold, one silver and four bronze medals in the competition.

Here is a detailed look at Navjot, who dominated the headlines in India after achieving the rare feat:

Early life: Born in Tarn Taran in Punjab on 10 February, 1990, Navjot was encouraged to take up wrestling at an early age by one of her teachers in school, with her physique being the main reason behind the advice.

Navjot found a lot of support in her desire to become a wrestler from her father, a farmer.

"He pushed both me and my sister Navjeet to wrestle, even when the other villagers would say this wasn't something a girl did," Navjot was quoted as saying according to a report on ESPN, reminiscent of the story of the famous Phogat wrestling family that was portrayed in the recent Hindi film Dangal.

According to her profile on the International Wrestling Database, the 28-year-old was enrolled at the Khalsa School Sports Club in her hometown. She later took up employment with the Indian Railways, which also employs Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik.

Career: Navjot's first major tournament appearance was at the Asian Junior Championships in Manila, Philippines, in which she finished with gold in the 67kg category. In the same year, she bagged a bronze at the World Juniors.

One of her first major achievements in the senior category was winning a bronze in the 67kg category at the 2011 Asian Wrestling Championships, in which she beat China's Yuanyuan Wang in the bronze medal match. In the Wrestling World Cup two years later, she finished with a bronze in the same weight category.

Her dream of becoming the first Indian female wrestler to win gold at the Asian Championships was nearly achieved in 2013, when she was in contention for the gold medal before suffering a 1:3 loss to Mongolia's Nasanburmaa Ochirbat to eventually walk away with silver.

The most celebrated moment in Navjot's career so far happened to take place at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the following year. After losing to Canada's Dorothy Yeats in the semi-finals of the 69kg category, she went on to beat local favourite Sarah Jones to eventually win bronze.

Navjot was picked up by the Bengaluru-based team in the inaugural edition of the lucrative franchise-based Pro Wrestling League in 2015.

With inputs from IANS


Updated Date: Mar 03, 2018 16:42 PM

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