New Wrestling Stadium Named as K.D. Jadhav Wrestling Stadium

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INVC,,

Delhi,,

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, by Dr. M.S. Gill, Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports at a function here today. Shri 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. Shri 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.

Shri Ranjeet Khashaba Jadhav son of Late Shri K.D. Jadhav was present on the occasion and 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.

Since 1900, when Norman Pritchard won two silver medals in athletics, India had won gold medals only in field hockey, a team sport. For nearly half a century, he remained the only individual medal winner for India at the Olympics until Leander Paes won a bronze in 1996.

While speaking on the occasion, Dr. Gill, said that it was his desire to give due recognition to the achievements of Late Shri K.D. Jadhav, and hence, this magnificent wrestling stadium has been christened after his name. He further said that Shri Jadhav has been always remembered as the winner of independent India’s first individual Olympic medal , when he won the wrestling bronze medal at the 1952 Olympic Games held at Helsinki.

In his address, Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil, Minister of State of Youth Affairs & Sports recalled the achievements of late Shri.K.D. Jadhav and said that by naming the wrestling stadium, which is the venue for Commonwealth Games, 2010, after K.D. Jadhav is another recognition and tribute to this national hero. He further said that by christening the wrestling stadium after his name, Shri Jadhav will be remembered for time immemorial and young wrestlers will get inspiration from his achievements to bring more laurels for the country.

ABOUT LATE SHRI KHASHABA DADASAHEB JADHAV

Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav (January 15, 1925 – August 14, 1984), or KD Jadhav, widely known as ‘Pocket Dynamo’, was independent India’s first individual Olympic medalist when he won the wrestling bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games. Since 1900 when Norman Pritchard won two silver medals in athletics, India had won gold medals only in field hockey, a team sport. For nearly half a century, he remained the only individual medal winner for India at the Olympics until Leander Paes won a bronze in 1996.

K.D. Jadhav was born in Goleshwar Tal Village in Karad Tashil, Dist. Satara, Maharashtra in a poor family. His nick name was Anna. His father’s name was Dadasaheb Jadhav and his mother’s name was Smt. 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 has 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 two Wrestler from Iran, thus got 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 that the eventual winner at the Madras Nationals, and this ruled 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, Mr. 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!

The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Dr. M.S. Gill addressing at the Re-christen function of the Wrestling Stadium as K.D. Jadhav Stadium in the memory of Late Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, Independent India’s first Individual Olympic medalist who won wrestling bronze Medal at 1952 Olympic Games held at Helsinki, in New Delhi on July 06, 2010. The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil is also seen.
The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Dr. M.S. Gill addressing at the Re-christen function of the Wrestling Stadium as K.D. Jadhav Stadium in the memory of Late Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, Independent India’s first Individual Olympic medalist who won wrestling bronze Medal at 1952 Olympic Games held at Helsinki, in New Delhi on July 06, 2010. The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil is also seen.

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