Indian veteran wrestler Kartar Singh won laurels at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games in the late 1970s and 1980s and is our Combat Sports person of the week. He hails from a small town in Punjab and later moved to Jalandhar. Kartar’s only disappointment from his long wrestling career would be on missing out on an Olympic medal during his career.
Medals at every major tournament for Kartar Singh
Kartar entered the world wrestling fray in 1978 winning a gold medal at the Asian Games and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games in the same year. His string of medals continued as he improved his Commonwealth Games record winning a silver at the 1982 Games in Brisbane. However, grappling in front of the home fans at the 1982 Asian Games Kartar failed to win the gold medal. None the less, he won the silver medal at the Games in Delhi and came back in 1986 Seoul games in the 100 kg category to lift the gold medal yet again.
Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri
Kartar Singh received the Arjuna award in 1982 for his performances at the world stage and followed it up with the prestigious Padma Shri in 1987.
Veteran World Champion
Kartar called it an end to his wrestling career at the world stage. But his love for the sport remained and that landed him in the veteran circuit. Kartar has become a prominent name in the Veteran world championships winning the gold medal quite often. He won the gold medal at the 1992 championships in Colombia and followed it with another one in 1993 Toronto.
Again after a break of a couple of years, he won the gold medal at Switzerland in 1997 and France in 1998.
Kartar Singh is still a champion
At 62, Kartar Singh is still going strong in the veteran arena. He recently won the Veterans World Championships in Greece. The win over Iran’s Mohammad Javad Samarghandi adds a 20th gold for the Indian wrestler at the Veteran’s championships.