Our Web Desk
LAHORE: It was the biggest day for Pakistan’s solid wrestler and the last year”s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Zaman Anwar.
The highly talented grappler from Gujranwala lifted the coveted Rustam-e-Pakistan title, the first in his career, when he conquered young wrestler Bahawalpur-born Mohammad Asif Mochi in the final here at the Punjab Stadium on Sunday.
In front of a huge and cheering crowd Zaman lived up to the billing and made his dream come true with the smart victory on points as per freestyle wrestling after the fight ended in a tie in the regulation time.
In the first 20 minutes both grapplers fought superbly, never giving any chance to one another to dominate. Then a toss was held as per rules and Zaman won it and was given a chance to take an upper posture but there too no result was produced. Then Asif was given a chance for the next five minutes to take an upper posture but this duration also failed to produce any result. Then both wrestlers were given last chance and as per rule the same session was set to decide on points and there Zaman produced a stunning trick to win the show and thus the coveted crown. As Zaman won the fight fans rushed into the arena and they lifted Zaman on their back and carried around the arena.
“It was.a dream come true,” Zaman told reporters after his fantastic win.
“When I started wrestling it was my desire to become Rustam-e-Pakiatan and today saw that day,” Zaman said.
“Now I will start training for mat wrestling as Asian Games and Olympic Qualifiers are also around the corner and I will try to deliver,” Zaman said.
Zaman’ who belongs to WAPDA, had defeated Shehzad Puchar while Asif, who is a pure mud wrestler from Army, had downed the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Tayyab Raza in the semi-finals which were conducted in Muzaffargarh.
The event was conducted in four phases with Lahore hosting two stages, the quarter-dinals and final.
Shehzad Puchar finished third in the event.
Director General of Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Dr Asif Tufail distributed the prizes.
He handed over the Rustam-e-Pakiatan title to Zaman Anwar and a cheque of Rs 1million.
The runner-up Asif got richer by Rs 500,000.
The event was organised by the Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) with the collaboration of Sports Board Punjab and Punjab government.
Earlier 32 fights, involving the best grapplers of the country, were conducted which created an ideal environment for the title showdown.
Director General of Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Dr Asif Tufail told reporters on the sideline of the event that it’s a traditional sport and SBP is focussing on it.
“This event lasted for around four months and it is a cultural event. It has a rich history as before partition Rustam-e-Hind also used to be held at Lahore,” Dr Tufail said.
“We plan to keep traditional sports in our next development programme. It’s a milestone and we will take it deep and we will also look into other factors like inviting foreign wrestlers to the event” Dr Tufail said.
Our Web Desk