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18-year-old female wrestler Neha Tomar defeats male wrestling champion

Sagnik Kundu
1.73K   //    11 Oct 2016, 15:36 IST
Neha Tomar in a bout (Image courtesy: Times of India)

Five minutes into the bout, and Neha Tomar, the 18-year-old female wrestler, had prevailed over male champion Nawab. As a huge crowd cheered on, the teenager wrestler had Nawab, who is from Lucknow, on the mat.

Monday's conquest was not a first for Neha, who loves to take on male wrestlers. A couple of years ago, the Dehradun girl first made the headlines, when she defeated a male wrestler. Locals have now branded Neha as the real life 'Sultan' of the ring.

Monday witnessed only the second-ever bout featuring wrestlers of the opposite sex at the Jogi Nawada locality. In 2014, Neha had challenged and defeated Sonu Pehalwan from Rudrapur in the locality which is famous for hosting clashes between champions.

Also read: 17-year-old female wrestler gets the better of male counterpart

Suresh Rathor, president of the Shri Ramlila Parishad Jogi Nawada spoke about Neha's achievement and how the crowd reacted. The Times of India quoted him as saying, "On Sunday, during the ongoing wrestling competition here, Neha stepped up and challenged all the male wrestlers to a bout. The crowd first went totally silent for a couple of minutes, and then welcomed her with a huge round of applause."

The committee has been organising wrestling contests every year during Ramlila. In this year's event, Nawab was the only person who accepted Neha's challenge. Little did he know he will be humiliated in front of the 4,000-strong crowd in the next five minutes. The bout had generated significant interest among the locals. While many people gathered around the elevated sand arena, others climbed up on to terraces of nearby houses to witness the bout.

Also read: A milkman's son Deepak Punia just became the third Indian junior wrestling world champion

David had again won a battle against Goliath, as Neha over-powered Nawab. While Neha stands at five-feet, Nawab is at least six inches taller than her. Both, however, weigh the same at 58 kg each. The crowd started cheering for 'Sultan Neha' when they saw the young woman gradually outclassing Nawab with her moves.

Neha did not stop here as she challenged any wrestler of any gender to a bout. Haroon, who is from Delhi, accepted her challenge and the bout is scheduled to take place on Tuesday. Neha will draw confidence from her previous two wins against men as she takes on Haroon on the last day of the wrestling competition.

The young wrestler has set her sights on an Olympic medal and post Sakshi Malik’s great performance at Rio, who would bet against that happening in the coming years.

Sagnik Kundu
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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