Times of India
He weighs 96 kgs, is a pure vegetarian and rarely eats out. And this is not the only thing that differentiates this 26-year-old wrestler from other fighters, the six feet tall hunk doesn’t smoke or drink either. A history graduate hailing from Madina village in Rohtak district, he also has a regular job with the Delhi Police. And it’s not just professional wrestling that excites him, he excels in volleyball, basketball and football too.
DT caught up with Sanjit Kumar aka Sangram Singh before the event Yodhao Ka Maha Sangram, where he will be pitted against popular international WWE icons.
How do you start your day?
My day starts early, kal thoda late ho gaya tha . Vaise, it’s 5 - 5.30 am for me.
Do you follow the same routine in winters too?
Thand me to main jaldi hi uthta hoon, 4.30 baje . I pray and hope for a good start to the day. I feed ants, fish and the birds. Then I jog, sprint and exercise. After that I have aloe vera and aamla juice, followed by an almond shake and daliya. After resting for an hour, I go for weight training.
How did wrestling happen?
My brother used to do pehlwani, but after he suffered a slip disc, my parents started hating the very idea of it. So I used to hide and practice. I was a frail kid, and wanted to become fit and so used to exercise even then. One thing led to another and that’s how I started wrestling. And then I was lucky enough to get a few odd medals at international events and a few competitions in India.
Do your parents still disapprove?
There were a lot of problems in the beginning. When I started getting coaching, I was very thin, and the others used to make fun of my body. They doubted if I would ever be able to take this profession up. But I coped somehow.
Who trained you?
My practice started from my village. Then I started training under Satpal pehlwan from Delhi, I have fought in his akhara for many years now, unhone mujhe bahut kuch bataya. I have just begun, I have to do a lot more.
You have dabbled in both professional wrestling and amateur pehlwani, which one do you find better? What excites you more?
Amateur wrestling is done in an akhara, the mat is different there, which has its own benefits. The mat used in professional wrestling is different. I like both, but since professional wrestling is more risky, I like it even more.
What kind of risks are involved in professional wrestling?
There are many risks. One can get a lot of injuries. If you look at my back you will find a lot of marks and abrasions because of the fights I have been involved in. In amateur wrestling, there are a lot of rules and regulations like if you get injured or hurt or if blood starts oozing, the fight is stopped but in the professional sphere, the fight goes on, irrespective of what happens to you.
And how did you land up in the reality show?
At first when I got to know that a show on wrestling is being made, I though it to be all fake, I thought sab kuch staged hoga, koi wrestling nahi hogi. But at the auditions, there were close to 30,000 athletes including judo players, wrestlers, bodybuilders and kick boxers, flexing their muscles. I found that their coaches were from South Africa and Canada. The selection was very tough and I was injured but yet I made to the top 20 and finally I was selected in the lead role.
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