Haryana to hold Bharat Kesri wrestling to honour martyrs

Gurgaon, March 20 (IANS) The Bharat Kesari Dangal, a national-level freestyle wrestling competition, will be organised here from Monday to honour revolutionary martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

Kin of the martyrs have been invited as special guests for the event and over 100 wrestlers who have won medals at national and international tournaments will participate, an official said.

The winner will be awarded a cash prize of Rs.1 crore, the runner-up will get Rs.50 lakh and the bronze medallist will get Rs.25 lakh.

The competition will be organised at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 38 here on March 21-23. The winner’s purse is perhaps the biggest given to any wrestler in such competitions in the country.

The participants include 16 wrestlers who have bagged medals at the international level, including Joginder Singh, Satyawan, Hitesh and Hardeep Kumar.

The mega event is being organised by the Haryana government with the help of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Since Haryana is observing the Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on March 23, the event will conclude on that day in honour of the great warriors and martyrs of the land.

It is for the first time that such a sports event with huge award money is being organised to commemorate ‘Shaheedi Diwas’ (Martyrdom Day).

According to the spokesman of the state sports department, all the participants will be given cash prizes. The wrestler bagging fourth position will get Rs.10 lakh, fifth position holder will get Rs.5 lakh, sixth position holder will get Rs.3 Lakh, seventh position holder will get Rs.2 lakh and the eighth position holder will get Rs.1 lakh.

He said the wrestling competitions will be held on mats and each bout will consist of two rounds of three minutes each with an interval of 30 seconds.

All participants will be divided into four groups and the preliminary competitions in all groups will be held on knock-out basis. The quarter-finals will be on league basis.

“The semi-finals and final will be organised in consultation with the Wrestling Federation of India. Any participant wrestler if tested positive for banned substances will not be given the award or prize money,” the spokesperson said.

As regards the eligibility for participation, any wrestler weighing 80 kg or more can participate, provided that as on January 1, 2016, he is above 17 years of age. That is, he should have been born before January 1, 1999.

Punjab and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki will inaugurate the mega event on Monday evening and Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij and other ministers and legislators will be present.

Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner T.L. Satyaprakash said that Chief Minister Manohar Lal will distribute prizes on March 23. On this day in 1931, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged to death by the government of British India.

All the events will held in the evening and folk and cultural events will also be presented.

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