Pro Panja League has ended 2021 with a bang as it concluded its latest event at the Sheru Classic tournament which took place at the Bombay Exhibition Center in association with the Indian Arm Wrestling Federation.
The event was a highly successful one and it was one of the biggest crowd-pullers at the IHFF Expo. The Arm Wrestling bouts took place on 4th and 5th December.
There were Arm Wrestling bouts across nine weight categories (60,70,80,90,100,+100 for men, women below & above 60kg and Specially-Abled category).
This was the Pro Panja League’s third event of the year. They previously held the event at the Majestic Pride Casino Ship in Goa on 19th March on the undercard of boxing superstar Vijender Singh. Prior to that, Pro Panja League hosted Mega Matches-1 at the mesmerizing bay of South Mumbai’s Radio Club Pier on 14th February.
Over 140 Arm Wrestlers took part in the Sheru Classic Arm Wrestling tournament and nine champions were crowned across each of the respective weight classes.
The biggest highlights of the event was the ‘Champion of Champions’ match-up which took place on the final day of the Sheru Classic event. A match-up between 90 kg champion Shaikh Tawheed and 80 kg Champion Sachin Goyal was the finals of the ‘Champion of Champions’ bout. It was a very entertaining match-up and Tawheed was coming in hot and was beaming with confidence as he had sailed past everyone in the 90 kg weight class with relative ease. He also reached the finals of the ‘Champion of Champions’ by easily defeating 70kg champion Sanu Joy.
On the other hand, the road to the finals in the ‘Champion of Champions wasn’t an easy one for Sachin Goyal. He had the toughest draw as he had to defeat the 100 kg champion Jiss Matthew to reach the finals. Jiss Matthew, who hails from Kerala was coming in hot after having defeated 100+kg champion Sanjay Deswal in the opening match.
In the first attempt against Jiss Matthew, the 80 kg champion Sachin Goyal did well and managed to pin him, but it was ruled a foul for Sachin. He was at the edge, as a second foul would have meant that he would automatically lose the bout. But Sachin kept his composure and managed to bounce back and pin Matthew clean leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind.
In the final match-up, both Arm Wrestlers displayed their brutal strength and Tawheed was doing well to fend off Sachin’s power, but it was Sachin’s relentless pressure that managed to crack Tawheed, following which the youngster from Madhya Pradesh was crowned as the ‘Champion of Champions’
“I am very happy after becoming ‘Champion of Champions’ as I have worked very hard and was spending numerous hours in the gym for the last 10 days and all my hard work has borne results. I also want to thank Manish Sir, who has helped me a lot and made me the person I am today.” Sachin Goyal said after being crowned ‘Champion of Champions’.
There were also numerous female bouts and the one that managed to capture the moment amongst the fans and athletes alike was when Yogesh Chaudhary managed to take home the Gold medal in the women’s above 65 KG category. Yogesh is one of the pioneers of women’s Arm Wrestling in Haryana. She hails from rural Haryana and has been actively promoting the sport of Arm Wrestling in her area. She has also started an academy where she has taken it upon herself to coach the next generation of Arm Wrestlers. She was thankful to the Pro Panja League that provided Arm Wrestlers with the much-needed platform and is hopeful that there will be more athletes from rural Haryana taking part in a big stage like Pro Panja League.
“I am feeling very happy after winning this tournament. This is also the first time I am competing at a higher level and in a grand stage like the ‘Pro Panja League’. I have big plans for the future and my aim is to compete for the world championship and reach the pinnacle of the sport of Arm Wrestling. Apart from competing in Arm Wrestling, I am also currently training women from rural Haryana, so that more and more Arm Wrestlers come out from our state. I also run an academy called ‘Mahakal Sports Academy’, where I train the next generation of Arm Wrestlers and I want young girls to empower themselves through sports,” Yogesh said.
Another interesting part of the event took place in the women’s below 65 kg category. While Karishma Kapoor of Delhi managed to win the Gold medal, it was the second and third position holders i.e Ardhra and Reeja Suresh that stole the limelight in the women’s division. Both the ladies share a rather deep bond. Ardhra is the daughter of Reeja Suresh and the men’s 90 kg bronze medalist Suresh Madhavan.
In the post-match interview, 16-year old Ardhra revealed that it’s for the first time that all three participants have won a medal in the same event.
“I train very hard and have high aspirations and hope to accomplish a lot in the sport of Arm Wrestling. I take my training very seriously and I workout twice a day. In the morning, I go to the gym with my father before the school and in the evening I go to a women’s only gym, where I get to compete against other female Arm Wrestlers. The Pro Panja League has set a high standard and I hope to compete in the next tournament and hopefully win a gold medal,” Ardhra said.
Pro Panja League owner Mr. Parvin Dabas also released a brief statement following the successful event.
“I want to congratulate all the Arm Wrestlers, Sheru Classic, IHFF, Indian Arm Wrestling Federation and all of us at the Pro Panja League for an amazing tournament. All the Arm Wrestlers were spectacular, they all tried very hard and all of them did a fantastic job. What has really come out is that we have a real depth of Arm Wrestling talent in the country and even more talent is starting to come out. People are really getting inspired and emboldened by the Pro Panja League and coming from all parts of the country.to take part in this tournament. We saw people coming from as far as Arunachal Pradesh. I also have to give a special congratulations to Sachin Goyal for winning the ‘Champion of Champions’; He actually had the hardest path to the finals and he had to beat both the 100 kg champion in the semi-final and the 90kg champion in the finals. No mean task but he has always been a big star with us and I have to say he is on his way to Super Stardom. He is a very talented kid and very humble and is going to go very far,” Mr Parvin Dabas said.
Full List Of Winners
Men’s 60 KG:
1st Place: Yasar Arafath (Kerala)
2nd Place: Mir Farhat Ali (Maharashtra) *
3rd Place: Sujit Kumar (Madhya Pradesh)
Men’s 70 KG:
1st Place: Sanu Joy (Kerala)
2nd Place: Tridip Medhi (Assam)
3rd Place: Sarath Kumar (Kerala)
Men’s 80 KG:
1st Place: Sachin Goyal (Madhya Pradesh)
2nd Place: Sonu Chaurasiya (Madhya Pradesh)
3rd Place: Ali Reza Farrokh Rooz (Telangana)
Men’s 90 KG:
1st Place: Shaikh Tawheed (Maharashtra)
2nd Place: Ameen Mohammad Mulk (Kerala)
3rd Place: Suresh Madhavan (Kerala)
Men’s 100 KG:
1st Place: Jiss Matthew (Kerala)
2nd Place: Prince Kumar (Delhi)
3rd Place: Shahbaz Khan (Delhi)
Men’s 100 KG+:
1st Place: Sanjay Deswal (Delhi)
2nd Place: Fahad Samah (Telangana)
3rd Place: Jasbir Chawla (Punjab)
Men’s Specially Abled:
1st Place: Manish Kumar (Madhya Pradesh)
2nd Place: Arvind Razak (Madhya Pradesh)
3rd Place: Faizal Rao (Telangana)
Women’s 65kg Above:
1st Place: Yogesh Chaudhary (Haryana)
2nd Place: Farheen Dehalvi (Madhya Pradesh)
3rd Place: Shaikh Saniya Moonaf (Gujarat)
Women’s 65kg Below:
1st Place: Karishma Kapoor (Delhi)
2nd Place: Ardhra (Kerala)
3rd Place: Reeja Suresh (Kerala)
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS
Sachin Goyal (Madhya Pradesh)