On Saturday when Sachin won his first ever international medal at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi, an expression of pride on his father's face was visible. The 19-year-old added a silver to India'a two silvers and a bronze medal on the penultimate day of the tournament. His compatriots Naveen Sihag and Vishal Kaliraman finished second while Karan Mor ended with a bronze. The fifth Indian wrestler on Saturday, Nasir Hussain finished seventh.
The wrestler didn't have a bright childhood like most of us. For most of his childhood, Sachin Giri sold milk with his father in Uttar Pradesh's Tendvi village. He would do so in the morning, break for school, and resume later in the evening.
One day Sachin confessed to his father a desire to wrestle. Hansraj Giri, a former wrestler himself, asked his son to join the village akhada that very day, and, in the 11 years since, has never requested his help in any household chore.
For the next five years, Sachin rose in the ranks, winning most of the dangals in and around Varanasi. He would give the prize money to his father who brought him dry fruits and waited for the day when his son will win a medal for India.
Later, he was witnessed by coach Mishra at a local dangal in Varanasi. He saw how Sachin dominated his opponents on the mud and asked him to join the Diesel Locomotive Workshop in Varanasi. That is where his main journey started.
Talking about his win, Sachin said, "It feels great to win the silver medal but gold would have been better," said Sachin after the final bout. "I was preparing for that only and had the chance as well but the Iran wrestler a good grip of my legs and I could be defended the leg lace. I should have performed better in the final."
The coach said, "I think he was overconfident before the final bout," Ravindra Mishra, Sachin’s coach in Varanasi, said. "He had wrestled very well in the morning and won some good bouts. But the final was very tough for which he should have done better. His leg defence is zero and we are still working on it. But a silver medal is a good start,".
"He has been good on the mat. His upper body has a lot of strength as he had no shortage of milk and ghee from his home. Now he has to build his technique especially the leg attacks. He will now try to better this performance at the Junior World Championships," Mishra says.
But Sachin is not all disappointed by this performance and neither is Mishra.
"He has five sisters and the poor background doesn't help him much. Now with this medal, more job offers will come his way and he would be able to earn more for his family. He has made small contributions to his family through his earning from the dangals. Now he needs a job," Mishra says.
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