Usman Majeed of Sheikhpura claimed the Rustam-e-Pakistan Dangal title after overcoming Multan’s Hamid Khan following a stiff fight that sparked controversy.
Karachi hosted the event after a lapse of 61 years as a large number of spectators turned out to watch the epic battle played at the earth-filled special dangal pit laid at the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium. The scores were locked at 1-1 at full time as neither of the wrestlers looked ready to drop a point.
However, Majeed showed some intelligent moves to score the winner in extra time to win the battle, which lasted for almost an hour.
The Wapda wrestler, who clinched his maiden title, was delighted at his success. “I worked hard for the contest,” said Majeed. “I want to thank my coach for the success.”
However, Hamid blamed biased umpiring for the loss.
“My opponent did not beat me, it was the referee who gifted him the win,” said Hamid. “The umpiring was biased throughout the contest.”
Meanwhile, Usman grabbed the prize purse of Rs0.3million while Hamid walked away with a cheque of Rs0.2million.
Earlier, Gujranwala’s Zaman Butt Jani secured third position in the event by defeating Nadir Dha of Bahawalpur in the classification match. The win made Butt richer by Rs0.1 million.
Before the main bouts, as many as 15 exhibition fights were held where each wrestler was given Rs20,000 as prize money.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2011.