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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Edition 27: Khashaba Jadhav, Paul and Muralitharan

The Honour Comes To A Hero At Last

The newly constructed wrestling stadium within Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex has been named as K.D. Jadhav Wrestling Stadium in the memory of late Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav. The formal ceremony of renaming by Dr. M.S. Gill, Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports took place in New Delhi yesterday. Jadhav was independent India's first individual Olympic medalist , when he won the wrestling bronze medal at the 1952 Olympic Games held at Helsinki. He was awarded Arjuna Award posthumously in 2000. Pratik Prakashbapu Patil, Minister of State of Youth Affairs & Sports , several sports persons and senior officials of the sports ministry were present on the occasion.

Ranjeet Khashaba Jadhav son of Late K.D. Jadhav was present on the occasion. He was felicitated by Dr. Gill with a shawl, silver plaque in appreciation and recognition of achievements of his illustrious father. He was also given Rs. 3.00 lakh from National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons.

Khashaba Jadhav remained the only individual medal winner for India at the Olympics for nearly half a century till Leander Paes won a bronze in 1996. Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav (January 15, 1925 – August 14, 1984) was widely known as 'Pocket Dynamo'. He

was born in Goleshwar in Satara district in a poor family. His nick name was Anna. His father’s name was Dadasaheb Jadhav and his mother’s name was Putli Bai. They were four brothers and three sisters.

Hailing from a wrestling background, Jadhav was an ardent fan of sports, mainly wrestling, kabaddi, running, swimming and others. His father, a wrestler himself taught Jadhav about the sport and despite being the youngest in the family managed to grasp the game and outclassed everyone. Gradually he began emerging as undisputed wrestler in the area and soon was competing in national events. Jadhav was flat footed, which made him different from other wrestlers of his time. English coach Rees Gardner saw this trait in him and trained him prior to 1948 Olympic games.

He started his wrestling competitions from State Championship by winning Gold medal followed by All India Inter-University Gold medal and then gold medal in National Championship in 52 kg weight category. In the 1948 London Olympics, he participated in the flyweight category finishing sixth. He defeated wrestlers from Australia, United States of America, Canada and Mexico in the first four rounds and in the fifth round he lost to two Wrestler from Iran, getting sixth position.

Four years later, before the selection for Helsinki Olympics, Jadhav alleged that nepotism among officials prevented him from getting selected for the Olympics. According to him, they intentionally gave him one point less than the eventual winner at the Madras Nationals thereby ruling him out of the Olympics. He did not bow down to corrupt officialdom and appealed to Maharaja of Patiala seeking justice. Fortunately the Maharaja of Patiala loved sports, saw his point, and arranged his entry in Olympic trials where he floored his opponent and won an entry in the Olympics.

Now Jadhav faced his next set of problems. He had to arrange for money for his travel to Helsinki. Even the principal of Kolhapur's Rajaram college, Khardekar, mortgaged his house for a sum of Rs. 7,000 to pay for his travelling cost. Local shopkeepers from his village Goleshwar, in Karad taluka Satara district presented him with groceries and other items of use.

At Helsinki, Jadhav had to fight seven bouts in all in the 52 kg freestyle event. In the first five, he met opponents from Europe and the Gulf countries and took barely five minutes to dispose them off. In the sixth round, his opponent was the famed Shonachi Ishi of Japan. Ishi's novelty of the ankle hold surprised Jadhav, but when he counterattacked, Ishi attempted rolling fouls which were penalized giving Jadhav a win.

Unfortunately his next bout was soon after this sapping bout. This was officially not permissible, but since there was no Indian official to lodge an official protest, he had to face this bout within less than half an hour of this bout with Ishi.

The tired Jadhav took on his next opponent, Manod Bekov of Russia. It is believed that had Jadhav not been tired from his previous bout, he would have defeated Bekov in no time, but tired as he was, he was beaten by Bekov and had to settle for a bronze.

Despite his loss, his was a unique achievement in India. Yet like most talented individuals in developing countries, he was largely forgotten. A principal reason for his oblivion was that in India cricket dominates and all other sports invariably take a backseat.

There was no fanfare from his return to Helsinki. No newspaper interviews, no television. Television in fact was not born in India then! There was however a small felicitation for him at Mumbai's Shivaji Mandir auditorium in Dadar. Interestingly there was also a cavalcade of 101 bullock carts from Karad to his village.

He started his job in Maharashtra Police as Inspector in 1955 and retired as Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1983.

After this glorious moment he slid into oblivion and despite serving in the state police was living in poverty until he died - almost certainly a broken man - in 1984 in a road accident. In 1990, he got Meghnath Nageshwar Award and in 1993 Chatrapati Shivaji Award from Government of Maharashtra. He was also awarded posthumously Arjuna Award in the year 2000.

A tribute to his sterling feat is that it remained unmatched for 56 long years. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Sushil Kumar ultimately won bronze in wrestling equaling - not beating - Jadhav's feat!

(photo: Attached)



Paul recorded a perfect eight out of eight for his predictions during the tournament in South Africa. He backed Germany to beat Australia, Ghana, England, Argentina and Uruguay, but lose to Serbia and Spain, who he then predicted would

win the final against the Netherlands. The oracle octopus has now retired although, a Spanish businessman has offered the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen EUR38,000 for him.

In contrast to Paul, the finest minds at some of the world's largest investment banks failed to predict the World Cup outcome. JP Morgan backed England to win, while Goldman Sachs, Danske Bank and UBS all opted for Brazil. To be fair, Paul's psychic powers were only tested on a game-by-game basis, giving him a 50% chance of opening the correct mussel-filled national jar on each occasion. It wasn't only cephalopods that got the better of the banks. Kaggle, a site that runs competitions for statisticians and data professionals, challenged its users to come up with a winning model.

In total, 65 teams participated in the Take on the Quants challenge, with JP Morgan finishing 28th, Goldman Sachs 33rd, UBS 55th and Danske Bank 64th. The betting markets fared better, finishing 16th. Australian economist Thomas Mahony came first, with his strategy correctly tipping Spain to win, the Netherlands to finish second and Germany to finish in the top four.



Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muraitharan, world's leading wicket taker and one of the finest exponents of spin bowling, Tuesday announced his retirement from International Test cricket, bringing an end to a glittering career spanning 18 years.

The first Test against India in Galle, beginning 18th July, will be the last game for the 38-years-old Muralitharan, who has taken an amazing tally of 792 wickets in 132 Tests

and 515 wickets in 337 ODIs. Although Murali will no longer play after the first match of the three-Test series, he has kept open the option of playing the 2011 ODI World Cup, to be co-hosted by Sri Lanka along with India and Bangladesh. The cricketer, who made his debut in 1992 against Australia, had the world cricket debating about his unorthodox bowling action.

Shane Warne follows him with 708 scalps. Murali overtook him in December 2007 against England at his home ground in Kandy. He achieved the grand double of being the highest wicket-taker in ODIs as well when he went past Wasim Akram's record of 502 wickets in 2009.

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