Every medal and every award do matter a lot for the sportspersons. But the feeling that I have after being recommended for the Arjuna Award is something that is altogether different. It felt like years of my hard work ultimately came to fruition. I regard it as the greatest achievement ever of my career as a wrestler.
Feelings have been great when I won medals early also. When I won Asian Championship medal, then appeared to me a great achievement of that time. When I won Commonwealth Games medal it looked like greater than Asian Championship medal. My happiness was at the peak when I won a medal in World Championship in Astana of Kazakhstan. Because that was the greatest achievement ever by any Maharashtrian wrestler. Narsingh Yadav had won world championship in Las Vegas from Maharashtra in 2015.
But Astana medal was the first great achievement for any Maharashtrian wrestler. Now I feel that Arjuna Award is the best honour of all the medals I have got so far. My hard work spanning around 15 years ultimately yielded the result and success.
I lost in the semifinal of the World Championship by a narrow margin The same situation was in Asian Championship too. I was a bit nervous thinking why I was unable to move beyond bronze medal, but good wishes of the people of my country worked for me.
My journey is not yet over. I am eagerly waiting for the national camp in Sonipat which is starting from 1 September. I want to win several trophies in future. I will get a good practice in the camp. At present, my weight is 62-63 kg. Earlier I had participated in 61 kg category. My heartfelt desire is to participate in Olympics. I want to reduce my weight to 57 kg. If the Federation gives me a chance, I want to participate in Olympic trial in 57 kg category. This is because my dream is to win an Olympic medal. If I can win medal in World Championship, then bagging a medal in Olympics is not impossible for me.
I am, presently, practising at the centre of Nashikbased Maharashtra Police Academy. The centre is equipped with all the facilities such as gym and everything. Ever since I took over as a Dy. SP in Maharashtra Police, I am nurturing a dream to make Maharashtra and India feel proud.
My mother, father, coach Harishchandra Birajdar and Kaka Pawar have helped me a lot. Birajdar sir is my childhood coach. It was from him that I learnt about Commonwealth Games and Arjuna Award. After the death of Birajdar sir, Kaka Pawar trained me and taught me the technicques of wrestling. Both the coaches have very important place and role in my life. The wrestling lovers of Maharashtra gave me a lot of affection. Several programmes were organised to felicitate me. Earlier, I was employed with railways in Maharashtra. There was also conducive atmosphere for wrestling in railways. Even today, I am in touch with all of them. Their blessings were and are always with me. Now I hope that I would continue to get the support of the Federation like before. I also hope that the Federation will faciliate my participation in Olympics by giving me a chance to participate in Olympic trial in 57 kg category.
The writer has been recommended for the Arjuna Award and is a recepient of gold medal in CWG. He is also a medalist of World Champiomship.