Ajay Thakur: 10 things you need to know about him
Ajay Thakur, also known as Flying Thakur, is one of the key players of Indian National Kabaddi team. The Man of the Tournament of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and the 'do-or-die' raid specialist has a lot more to him that people don't know about.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Ajay Thakur:
#1 He was born on 1 May 1986 in the Dabhota village of Nalagarh district of Himachal Pradesh. He pursued his graduation from his birthplace itself (Government Post Graduate College). His father is a former Kabaddi player and coach while his cousin Rakesh has also played for the Indian National Men's Kabaddi team. Undoubtedly, Kabaddi runs in the blood of the family.
#2 Ajay, at the tender age of 10, ran away from home to play in a Kabaddi tournament. He also played in 2014 edition of Pro Kabaddi League while suffering from Typhoid and high fever. This makes his dedication for the sport quite evident and shows that stars are not built overnight.
“Yes. I lost 11 kgs due to typhoid, but the team needed me, and that was most important.”
#3 When Ajay Thakur was selected for Indian team he was frail, and he was mocked by other players for his weight, later he gained 12 kg in 15 days.
“I was stick thin when I joined the Indian camp. Joginder Narwal, Rakesh Kumar and the others worked on my fitness and fed me continuously which helped me gain 12 kilograms in 15 days.”
#4 Due to his height (1.85 m), he has one of the longest reach (to midline) in the current lot of Kabaddi players. He is currently employed as a Customer Service Supervisor in the Air India and has also served in the Indian Navy before.
#5 Ajay Thakur played for Bengaluru Bulls in the first two seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League before moving on to Puneri Paltans for the third season. However, he will be representing Sachin Tendulkar's side Tamil Thalaivas in the 2017 season.
#6 He was named Himachali of the year in 2014 in the Himachal Excellence Awards after his gold in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
#7 Ajay's biggest strengths are his signature move, frog jump and his running hand touch.
The “frog jump”, is a unique move that sees the player jump in the air with his feet splayed apart. The fleet-footed Ajay has mastered the frog jump, a move that sees him fly away from the defenders’ circle, taking them by surprise. Interestingly, he did not know the name of this move until hearing about it on TV!
#8 He is widely known as a Do or Die specialist raider. His 14 years of raiding experience have brought him to the list of the best raiders in the world. He has gained respect and admiration from opponents because of his honest and impressive sportsmanship behaviour on court. 49% successful raids in Do or Die sector is something!
#9 Apart from Kabaddi, boxing and wrestling are his favourite games. Whereas Vijender Singh is his favourite player. He is also an active supporter of Football in his home state.
#10 The champion raider has a total of 327 points from just 58 matches in the Pro Kabaddi League out of which 316 (96.64%) are raid points. He also had the highest number of points to his name in the 2016 World Cup with 68 points. 12 of them came in the final alone against Iran at a time when India were trailing 13-18.