Kushti, an Indo-Pakistani form of mud wrestling, is several thousand years old and a sport that Pakistan excelled at. The muddy ‘akharas’ (courts) served as the supply line which provided many a big name to the national setup.
From 1954 to 1970, Pakistan won 18 wrestling gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, five at the Asian Games and a Bronze in the 1960 Olympics.
There was a gold at the Asian Games in 1986 and two in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but apart from that, international victories have all but dried up. Rings that once thronged with thousands of spectators are now silent as fewer people as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions, sport’s coaches say. There also those who still believe and sweat it out everyday to keep the traditional form alive. -Photos by AP
Read feature here: The fading glory of kushti in Pakistan