Solapur's Sikander Sheikh secured the title of the new Maharashtra Kesari in remarkable fashion, defeating his opponent Shivraj Rakshe in a mere 22 seconds at the 66th Senior State Championship and Maharashtra Kesari Wrestling Tournament.
This thrilling competition took place at the Subhash Chandra Bose Military School in Pune's Phulgaon and was organised by Pradeep Kand, a member of the Pune District Central Bank, in collaboration with the Pune District Kustigir Sangh, the Indian Wrestling Federation, and Maharashtra State Kustigir Sangh.
In the final match, Sheikh's agility and strength were on full display as he swiftly lifted his opponent, Rakshe, and expertly brought him down in just 22 seconds with a decisive belt shot. For his outstanding performance, Sheikh received a Thar car and a mace, while Rakshe, the runner-up, was awarded a tractor.
Sheikh's journey to the final included a dominant victory over Sandeep Mote with a score of 10-0, while Rakshe secured his spot in the final by defeating Harshad Kokate.
This victory marked a remarkable turnaround for Sheikh, who had faced disappointment in the semi-finals last year. Speaking to the media after his win, Sheikh expressed, "I had said I would win next year!"
Wrestling runs in Sheikh's family as he inherited the sport from his grandfather. His father, Rashid, was also a wrestler but had to abandon the sport due to economic hardships and turned to portering to make a living.
Many on X (formerly Twitter) congratulated Sheikh after the win. Check out the posts below: