On Friday evening, sports fans in India had more than one reason to be cheerful. With Holi celebrations underway across various parts of the country, far away in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan the 28-year-old Navjot Kaur was scripting history. She became the first Indian woman to win gold at the Asian Wrestling Championships, as she dominated Japan’s Miya Imai with a convincing 9-1 win in the final of the 65 kg category.
Defeating a wrestler from Japan is no mean feat these days and given that Kaur had lost to the same wrestler in the first match of the ongoing event (in the group stage), the pressure was on her to deliver and she delivered in style to give India it’s first gold medal of the ongoing championships.
Kaur, who insists that she took up wrestling only to live her elder sister Navneet’s dream, was in tears as she was paraded around the mat on her coach’s shoulders with the tri-colour draped on her back. She has been around the wrestling circuit a while, as she had previously won silver at the Asian Championships in 2013 and also has a bronze from the 2014 Commonwealth Games (67kg).
Once the referee lifted her arm and declared her to be the winner, the joy in Kaur’s face was evident as she celebrated along with the Indian contingent.
Watch the short clip here of her emotional celebrations: