Shamshu Boli clinched the title of Jabbarer Boli Khela, the century-old wrestling competition, in Chittagong yesterday afternoon.
For Shamshu, a wreslter from Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar district, it was the first win in the 107th edition of the wrestling tournament after taking part three times. He defeated 10-time champion Didar boli from Ramu of Cox’s Bazar.
The fight lasted for over half an hour but none of the two wrestlers could defeat the opponent by slamming his back into the ground, which is the requirement to win a match. After the stipulated 30-minute time was passed without a clear winner, the referees decided to declare a winner by comparing their tactics. The judges declared Shamshu as the champion.
“My dream came true as I have won the largest wrestling championship of Chittagong,” said Shamshu. A timber trader by profession, Shamshu said wrestling is his passion and he wants to take part in future competitions too.
Earlier, Didar and Shamshu defeated their semifinal opponents Habibur Rahman of Naryangonj and Oly Boli from Brahmanbaria respectively.
The champion received Tk 20,000 and the runner-up Tk 15,000, and the 37 qualifiers received Tk 1,000 each. The competition was held in two sessions with 96 wrestlers fighting each other and 37 winners emerging as some were disqualified. The second session featured the semifinals and final.
The tournament is named after Abdul Jabbar Sowdagor, a rich businessman of Badarpati in Chittagong who initiated the competition on Baisakh 12 in Bengali year 1316 (1909 AD) to inspire youths to anti-British struggle and displays of physical strength. It has become a fixture of the sport calendar since, with scores of wrestlers fighting each other in front of thousands of spectators, agencies report.