Indian wrestler Labhanshu Sharma loves cooking shahi paneer and chapati

Updated: Jan 24, 2020, 15:57 IST | Shawn D'souza | Mumbai

In a tete-a-tete with mid-day online sports editor, Labhanshu talks about his early life, his motivation to begin wrestling, the hardships he faced and the goals he has in mind for the future

Labhanshu Sharma
Labhanshu Sharma

Labhanshu Sharma is an Indian wrestler. He was born and raised in a middle class family in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. He won two gold medals in Asian International Games and Indo Nepal International Wrestling Tournament under category 120 kg held in Sri Lanka and Nepal.

His father Mr. Suresh Chand Sharma was a former wrestler in the Indian army who represented army and won many medals including national championship. Labhanshu is the youngest child of Suresh Chand Sharma.

In a tete-a-tete with mid-day online sports editor Shawn D'souza, Labhanshu talks about his early life, his motivation to begin wrestling, the hardships he faced and the goals he has in mind for the future.

Could you tell us a little more about your background?
I was born and raised in a middle-class family in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. My father Mr. Suresh Chand Sharma was a former wrestler in the Indian army who represented the army and won many medals including a national championship. I am the youngest child and have 3 elder sisters.

What motivated you to start your career in wrestling?
During my childhood, I would go to the akhara (place to practise wrestling) with my father as he was a former wrestler in the army. I grew up watching him as a wrestler. That’s how I got motivated to start my career in wrestling and gradually it became my passion

What are the hardships you faced early in your career if any?
Since I belong to a small town we didn’t have proper facilities and amenities so we had to practice in the ground. There are a lot of difficulties I faced as I would practise on mud and the competitions including district and state championships were organized on the mat and my opponents would practice on the mat.

Who do you consider as your favourite wrestler and why?
My favourite wrestler is Zion Clark from the USA, he is a disabled wrestler but his wrestling is really out of this world. He is someone that gets me motivated.

As you love cooking, what is the favourite dish you like to prepare?
Yes, I love to cook. It gives me immense happiness to cook for my friends and family. My favourite dish that I like to cook is Shahi Paneer and authentic chapati made on a chulha.

What steps do you think should be taken to curb animal cruelty?
We should not kill animals for food and for our personal benefits. We should adopt being Vegetarian.

What was running through your mind while when you broke the record while pulling a 20-ton heavy truck?
I just wanted to set a new world record for my country. The only thing in my mind at that time was our country flag (Tiranga). I wanted to make my country proud.

With Narendra Modi

What are your goals for the next few years?
My goal is to win medals for my country. I turned down the job of a coach in New Zealand for my country. My plan is to create my own wrestling academy (Akhara) in my country. I also want to join the Indian army as an officer in order to serve my motherland.

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