Young wrestler Divya Kakran, who became the second Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Championships this year, has her brother to thank for her success in the sport. As a kid, Divya followed her two brothers to wrestling akhara (area) in her village in Haryana. She even started as a wrestler by wrestling with boys. Divya’s brother, who also wanted to be a wrestler, sacrificed his dreams for his sister. Their mother Sanyogita would stitch langots - the cotton cloth for wrestlers in India - and sell them at dangals (wrestling matches). Given the financial circumstances of the house, her father could only raise one wrestler so her brother chose to support Divya's career in wrestling and gave up his dream, Wrestlingtv.in reported.
Now at 22, Divya (68kg) is a national champion, a silver medalist on debut at the Asian Championships and a gold medalist at the Commonwealth Championship.
- Divya Kakran won a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships, became the second Indian woman to do so.
- Divya thanked her brother for his invaluable contribution saying, "He left his education, his wrestling career, and everything for me".
- She had to convince her grandparents and her mother who were against the thought that the girl should take up wrestling seriously.
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Thanking her brother for his invaluable contribution, Divya said, “He left his education, his wrestling career, and everything for me. I have sometimes to attend wrestling camps in Lucknow which last for two-three months. I get accommodation in hostels for the camp, but my brother stays in hotel rooms to accompany me,” The Sunday Guardian reported.
Before the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Divya spent almost a year off the matt. “I had a kidney failure. I was admitted in AIIMS for 10 days and managed to get treatment in time,” Divya said.
Many family members said no to wrestling
Divya had to convince her grandparents and her mother who were against the thought that the girl should take up wrestling seriously. But her father was supportive of her decision.
“A lot of people advised my father not to make me wrestle. They said if I injured myself, no one would be marrying me. But my father was resolute. He treated me like a daughter and gave me all the support which is given to a boy,” said Jakarta Asian Games bronze medallist to The Sunday Guardian.
No national camp in lockdown
Having zero training partners and no access to training centers, Divya Kakran sought a partner in her brother. She is now training at her local akhara with her brother. She had to take special permission to train at the akhara since it was shut after the government’s advisory to fight COVID-19. “Since there has been no training partner, my brother decided to help me practice on the mat. He was my first sparring partner and we learnt wrestling together. So, it is good to train with him,” she told WrestlingTV.
“As kids all wrestlers including me dream of winning an Olympic medal. I practice hard for it and wish to realise it. But I cannot turn my eyes away from the Coronavirus problem. I do not know if the Olympics will be postponed or not but I think lives of people should be given priority first,” she said.
Feature Image Credit: Wrestlingtv.in