Indians to take on Pak, Iranian grapplers in international Dangal

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Mumbai, Jan 25 (UNI) A veritable feast is on the cards for Indian wrestling fans tomorrow with a half-a-dozen top Indian grapplers taking on a couple of noted opponents each from Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The international ''Dangal (meet)'' at the Shahaji Raje Krida Sankul in Andheri has another 100 fights billed for the day to be contested by wrestlers from all over India, it was announced at a press conference here today.

A regular event organised for a decade by Congress spokesman Sanjay Nirupam (former Rajya Sabha MP) and Mumbai Shahar Upnagar Talim Mahasangh, it went international in 2006 with a top bout between Parminder Singh (Delhi) and Mohammed Ali (Pakistan) which was won by the former. Last year, fancied Raju Tomar, a Bharat Kesari, floored Acchhi Pehelwan from Pakistan in the title bout, it was further informed by the organisers.

This year, the event has turned multi-national, with the participation of Iranians Yazdan Haksainaz (a winner of Takthi Cup), and Malki Mustafa (a junior world champion), Pakistanis Usman Masjid and Usman Shahid (both internationals) and Bangladeshis Mormo Sinha and Kamal Hosain.

Raju Tomar has a tough task this year, as he takes on Yazdan while Janardan Yadav, a twice crowned UP Kesari will be against upcoming Mahesh from Satara. Nitin Khurd from Kolhapur is billed to take on Malki Mustafa and wrestling aficionados would be keen to watch the techniquely strong Indian have the measure of his opponent. Nitin too is in good form and will be wanting to prove a point or two.

The Pakistanis will be yearning to do well after a couple of their countrymen failed to protect their reputations on Indian soil. Usman Shahid (International) will fight with Santosh Kumar Yadav from Banaras.

Yadav, a product of the army, is a national champion on mat in his weight category. Usman Majid too has a good opponent in Ahsab Ahmed, a runner-up in the Maharashtra Kesari category, and a product of SAI (Kandivli), it was stated at the conference.

The Bangladeshis, who are a little unknown, have formidable opponents to face. Kallu Yadav fights Mormo Sinha and the only ''Sardar'' on the wrestling circuit, Dilip Singh Gadiwale, will match wits against Kamal Hosain.

An interesting home battle awaits the fans in the form of Narsing Yadav, an international medal winner, and Aba Sool (Maharashtra Kesari runner-up).

The organisers announced in the press conference that they are expecting a huge crowd (30,000 plus) and have made adequate arrangements for the fans, allowing a free entry, The event is sponsored by D B Realtors, Air India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Union Bank of India and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited.

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