Wrestlers get buffalo worth Rs1.5 lakh as top prize

While young cricketers like T. Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj were awarded with sport utility vehicles for their stellar performances in Australia recently, wrestlers in India have to make do with buffaloes.

This is not unusual, because receiving weird gifts for their accomplishments is not new to athletes.

Tennis legend Roger Federer was gifted a cow, not once but twice, by the organisers of the Swiss Open.

The 23rd Indian Senior Women's National Wrestling Championship in Agra on Sunday witnessed a similar incident. But this time it was the governing body that ended up with the gift.

In its bid to felicitate the best wrestler of the championship, a local sponsor offered to gift a buffalo worth around Rs150,000 ($2,750).

With the event not having an award in that category, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) was in a bind.

Its officials finally decided to accept the gift on behalf of the wrestlers.

"Given the format in which the competition was being organised, every weight category (total 10) has a gold winner, so it was not possible to pick the best among them," said Mr Vinod Tomar, WFI's assistant-secretary.

After much deliberation, the animal was eventually gifted to the WFI, he added.

Sources told The New Indian Express that around Rs15,000 was spent on the decoration of the buffalo that was brought to the venue with full fanfare.

It is now understood that the federation is not sure what to do with the gift.

A WFI source revealed the animal might be transported to WFI's headquarters in New Delhi.

The federation runs its office from its president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh's official residence in Delhi.

Mr Singh is a Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh.

Indo-Asian News Service


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