Ranchi: Chanchala Kumari, a 14-year-old tribal athlete, and a Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society (JSSPS) cadet became the state’s first wrestler to qualify for the global wrestling championship, which will be held in Budapest (Hungary) from July 19 to 25.
After tryouts in Delhi, Chanchala, the daughter of a farmer in Ranchi’s Hotwar hamlet, achieved the feat on Monday. Her Father Narendra Nath Pahan stated that their terrible financial situation was a blessing in disguise for her daughter, as it drove her to pursue athletics as a profession. ‘It is really a proud moment for me that my daughter will be representing India at an international event,’ he said.
Chanchala has all the capacity to reach new heights, said Jharkhand State Wrestling Association president Bholanath Singh, who added that she has been gradually making strides from the beginning of her career. Chanchala has previously earned state honours by winning medals in national wrestling competitions. ‘She clinched silver in the SGFI national meet in 2017-18, successive golds in SGFI meet in 2018-19, 19-20, and bronze in the 2020-21 sub-junior national meet,’ said Singh.
According to Singh, Chanchala was picked up by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Lucknow, where she had been training for approximately a year. He described Chanchala’s achievement as ‘really a great moment for the whole wrestling community in Jharkhand,’ as she became the first wrestler from the state to qualify for the global championship.
Chanchala will represent the country in the 40kg sub-junior category. ‘She will be the lone athlete to represent the country in this category,’ said coach Bablu Kumar, who is currently with her in Delhi.
Chanchala is a member of JSSPS, a joint venture between Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) and the state sports department that runs several academies at the giant sports complex in Hotwar to help aspiring athletes improve their talents.