The death of ‘Master’ Chandgi Ram has elicited shock and sorrow from across the wrestling fraternity.
At a promotional campaign on Tuesday, Olympic bronze medallist Sushil Kumar expressed regret at his death. “Guruji was like a pillar for the wrestling world. Despite his seniority, he would always take time out to help youngsters,” he said.
Sushil recollected one of his interaction with the wrestling legend.
“I was supposed to be a top prospect at the 2004 Athens olympics, but performed poorly and lost in the first round there. When I returned, I was dejected, but Guruji told me not to worry. He said he knew I had competed with leg injury and told me that he still believed in me. He said if I continued to practice, I would definitely win a medal,” adding he was en route to the funeral before arriving at the function here, and would head straight to the cremation.
The other wrestler at the event, 2009 World Championship bronze medallist Ramesh Kumar, was shocked at the news, saying he knew about it only from the assembled media. Even though he had not been coached by the legend, Ramesh Kumar said Chandgi Ram was a legend and the loss to wrestling was great.
“Like any other wrestler, I have been in awe of Guruji since childhood. Every one aspired to be like him. In any tournament, if any one performed exceptionally well, we would jokingly ask him if he was trying to become another Chandgi Ram, such was his stature,” he said.