TWENTY SIX YEAR OLD wrestler Narsingh Pancham Yadav is originally from the state of Uttar Pradesh, but has been living in Mumbai since his childhood days as his father was a milk distributor. He will be seen in the upcoming Pro Wrestling League which begins next month. He was bought by the Bangalore Yodha team for a sum of Rs. 34.50.
Few of his notable performances include gold at the 2010 Commonwealth games, silver at the 2011 commonwealth championship, and bronze at the 2015 World Wrestling championship.
While he was in Mumbai, TFG caught up with the wrestler for a chat that involved talking about the sport and the upcoming league.
You are the icon player for team Bengaluru in PWL. What are your expectations from the league?
I am beaming with joy as I am part of the JSW-owned team Bengaluru in PWL. I have been with them for a very long time now and they have been supporting me so now the relation extends a bit further, which is great for me. My only aim at the moment is to get my team Bengaluru to win the first season of PWL.
You have lived in Mumbai for most of your life, and now you will represent Bengaluru in PWL. How is it going to be for you?
I don't think that matters. In a league whichever team picks you, you then adapt to the atmosphere and play accordingly. I represent Bengaluru now in PWL, so I will try my best to win games for the team and that would be the ultimate goal for me. I also need to perform at my best so that I meet the expectation level of the franchise.
When Pele visited India during the Subroto Cup, you were invited for dinner by the organisers and was felicitated for your contributions to the sport. How was the experience of meeting the legend?
It was a great experience meeting the legend in person, he is such a big personality in football and an inspiration for many sports lovers around. There were many others present there who wanted to meet him and amidst all that he came up to me and wished me, hugged me, which made me feel like he is just one of us. For a man of such a big stature, he inspires me to make it big in my sport and be known and respected by all.
How did you get into the sport, and why wrestling?
Wrestling runs in the family and that is how I got introduced to the sport and then got interested. Eventually, I fell in love with the sport and then started winning medals during school days which made me famous and I used to be the topic of discussion. It felt great, and then a desire to win a medal for the country started growing in me because of which this is what I do now.
Do you look up to someone, Indian or any international wrestler, that keeps you motivated and going?
Not really, I don't follow anyone as my only agenda is to win medals and improve my game and get better at it so I can win more and more medals for the country. Just like Yogeshwar who got India a medal at the Olympics, my dream is to do the same, may be aim for gold even.
You worked with the Indian Railways as a junior ticket checker. What are the reactions that you have received from people, did they recognise you?
Yes it was about two-three years ago that I worked as a ticket checker and back then I was not known as a wrestler. But now people have started recognising me; they shake hands and start conversations with me. It is a good feeling when you know that people recognise you for what you do.
Did you ever come across any problems that involved fights between passengers and you had to deal with it?
Not really, people are very civilized (smiles); there have been no situations where I had to get involved in something physical as people know who was on the opposite side and that they would be careful about messing with me (breaks into laughter).