Vanesa Kaladzinskaya, a two-time world champion, has claimed that Indian wrestling has now started to become more professional than was the case few years back. The Olympian from Belarus, currently donning UP Dangal in ongoing Pro Wrestling League (PWL) Season-4, compared the current situation of Indian wrestling as opposed to when she saw India's star siblings -- Geeta and Babita Phogat -- during their bronze-medal winning campaign at the World Championships in Strathcona County, Canada in 2013. In the same event, Vanesa had attained gold.
Vanesa opined, "Not only those two girls -- Geeta and Babita -- but Indian wrestling has now started doing things more professionally and you can see more and more improvements in every department and the level has become better day by day. I have been to India last year also for the PWL and I can see a lot of promising wrestlers, both male and female in the league here. They have also started winning in big events like the world championships and the Olympics."
Vanesa was quick to assert that PWL has served as a catalyst for this change as it hands over Indian wrestlers much needed exposure. In addition, it has turned the sport into a lucrative career option.
"Youngsters get inspiration when they see such a big league like this from up close. They want to come out and take up wrestling which is a big boost for the sport. It is helpful for the current athletes too because more people will get to know them and they will get more support from their countrymen when they go for bigger competitions abroad.
She further stated, "I participated in the 2013 European Championships where I was placed third. After that there were some health issues for which I missed another year and started training again in 2016. The next year, I became the world champion again," said the mother of a five-and-a-half-year-old boy on her road to redemption and more success in this sport.
As a result of her stay in India due to PWL, Vanesa has become a huge fan of the Indian sweet gulab jamun and doesn't mind having some even if her diet plan doesn't approve of it. "Oh I love them! I have started liking a lot of things here and the sweet is one of them. I also watched a lot of Hindi movies when I was here last year but not many this time," added Vanesa.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega