Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh wrestler Shivani Pawar has won the first gold for the state at the national under-23 wrestling championship being held in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, said her wrestling coach Fatima Bano.
Shivani wrestles in 50-kilogram weight category. She defeated wrestlers from Gujarat, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh to reach the final.
Olympian and Arjun Awardee Pappu Yadav congratulated Pawar for her performance at the championship that will conclude on September 19.
“I have worked really hard for this and the medal has come as a token of appreciation,” Shivani said. When asked how she took up wrestling, she said she was a studious girl. It all started with playing football at a summer camp. “It made me interested in sports and I took up athletics soon after. I got an opportunity to give trials for wrestling. This was my road to Madhya Pradesh Martial Arts Academy,” she added.
Her father Nandlal Pawar, mother Pushpa Pawar and grandfather Raghunanadan Pawar, have supported her to reach where she is today, she says. Inspired by her, Shivani’s younger sister, Ritika has also taken up wrestling.