The Indo-Pak Kushti Wrestling Championship in Dubai took place at the Hamdan Sports Complex
South Asian wrestling arrives in the UAE as India take on Pakistan
South Asian traditional wrestling came to the UAE on Friday with ten of India’s top fighters taking on their Pakistani counterparts.
The Indo-Pak Kushti Wrestling Championship in Dubai drew a fiercely-partisan crowd of some 500 people backing the mixture of professional and amateurs fighting for national pride, hoping to catch the notice of talent-spotters or with an eye on an even greater prize.
“My dream is to become known as the greatest wrestler of all,” says Abaid Pahelwan, 20. The Pakistani is a recent arrival to the UAE where he works as cleaner. “I trained three times a day for three years to get my professional fighting skills.”
Krishan Sarohr, an arts graduate and one of the top five wrestlers in India, began training at the age of ten to become a professional wrestler. His father and grandfather were both wrestlers. “My only motivation is to fight for the name of my country,” he said. “This has been my dream since I was a child.”
Tayyab Raza, from Pakistan, considers himself one of the tougher men in the competition. “I exercise almost four hours a day,” he said. “My dream is to become an Olympic champion.”
The competition, held annually since 2009, took place at Hamdan Sports Complex.