Juice seller's daughter Reshma Mane only female wrestler at U-23 World Wrestling Championships
Daughter of sugarcane juice seller, Reshma Mane is state's only female wrestler at U-23 World Wrestling Championships
Though young wrestler Reshma Mane's family owns a sugarcane juice shop back home in Kolhapur, the grappler, who weighed 67kgs until recently, could not touch the sweet drink as she was desperate to lose weight to qualify in the 62kg category of the U-23 World Wrestling Championship beginning in Budapest, Hungary today.
Reshma Mane's sacrifice saw her lose five kgs, and following a rigorous training-cum-competition stint abroad, she is now ready to give her best at the U-23 World Wrestling Championships that gets underway in Budapest today.
Weight and watch
"This is my third U-23 World Championship [after Poland 2017 and Romania 2018] and I have prepared very hard for this. I lost a lot of weight by specifically avoiding sweet, spicy and oily food. Now, I feel confident and eager to go all out for a medal," Reshma told mid-day from Rohtak recently before leaving for Budapest over the weekend.
Reshma, the only Maharashtra girl in the Indian contingent, praised her coach Yuliya Ratkevich's (2012 London Olympics bronze medalist) specific training programme in Belarus.
"I spent three months [April to June] with Yuliya in Belarus earlier this year and ithas helped me a lot. Earlier, I used to feel the pressure while taking on foreigners and automatically became defensive.
"Yuliya changed my mindset and improved my technique too. Now, I feel like a totally changed and much more confident wrestler. I even had a some good practice matches against some of the world's top wrestlers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Belarus and did well," said Reshma, who is supported by Lakshya Sports, a NGO with the mission to groom Indian athletes into medal winners.
Reshma wants to win the medal for her father, Anil, who has helped her pursue her passion against all odds. "Despite out humble background, my father has encouraged me in everything. I was into gymnastics then I took up swimming, football and kabaddi, before wrestling.
Akhada at home
Reshma with her father Anil, a sugarcane juice seller in Kolhapur
"Seeing my passion for wrestling, my father built an akhada with the help of Chandrakantdada Patil sir [politician] with a 40x40 ft wrestling mat and a gym at home. I want to win a medal for my father," said Reshma, a Commonwealth Wrestling Championship gold medallist. She also bagged gold at the Senior Nationals in Uttar Pradesh in 2016. She's now eyeing a possible shot at the Tokyo Olympics. "In my weight category, no one has earned Tokyo 2020 quota yet. So, My aim is to win a gold medal at the Nationals [to be held at Jalandhar in November], as that will qualify me for the selection trial to get a shot at the Asian Wrestling Championship [Tokyo Olympics Qualifying event] where an Olympic spot can be earned."
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