Ajay Thakur is an Indian professional kabaddi player who plays for the Indian national men’s Kabaddi team and Tamil Thalaivas in the Pro Kabaddi League. He is also the current captain of both the teams.
Thakur was born on 1st May 1986 and hails from the village of Dabhota in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh located between the hills. He plays as a raider and is known for his determined spirit, refusing to give up even in the most dire of situations.
A true leader on the court in every sense, not only does he boast immense influence as a hugely experienced player but he also leads the team with his performances and his efforts to carry the team. He is especially known to draw out his team from critical situations single-handedly.
The hero of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup final, it was his spectacular performance that led India to the title. His signature moves are the frog jump and the running hand touch. Thakur has mastered the art of frog jump, which is a visual spectacle as he jumps with his feet splayed apart, tagging defenders while airborne and landing to safety beyond the reach of the defenders.
Kabaddi runs in his blood as his father is a former kabaddi player and a coach while his cousin Rakesh has also represented the Indian national kabaddi team. He was drawn to the game from a very early age, and ran away from home at the age of 10 to play in a kabaddi tournament.
Rise to Glory
He first rose to fame after the 2014 Incheon Games, where India won the gold medal in kabaddi event of the Asian Games. However, Thakur had already previously won gold medals while representing India at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games and the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
He experienced a bad dip in form during the third and fourth season of the Pro Kabaddi League while playing for the Puneri Paltan.
He has won gold medals at the 2014 Asian Games, 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championship and a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games.