Hope to inspire more Indians to take up wrestling, says WWE champion Jinder Mahal

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first_imgNewly-crowned WWE Champion Jinder Mahal hoped that his achievements can inspire more Indians to take up wrestling and felt that hard work is the key to greatness.On Sunday, Jinder Mahal defeated 13-time champion Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view Backlash in Chigaco.Mahal is only the second Indian-origin WWE Champion after the Great Khali, who won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2007.”India is such a passionate place when it comes to WWE, it has a special place in the WWE universe. The most passionate fans are from India and I hope that I can motivate more Indians to pursue wresting or any athletics for that matter and become champions,” Mahal said in an interview to Times of India.Mahal said that there is no dearth of talent in India but there needs to be more representation from the country in all sports at the world platform.”I hope they go on to represent India because in sports there is lack of Indian athletes. I think we have lots of talent there, we have everything and hopefully this (win) kick-starts and motivates younger people to pursue their dreams – whether it is WWE or cricket or anything like this,” Mahal added.Mahal felt great to be representing India on such a big platform and having defeated a legendary wrestler like Orton, he wanted to achieve more.”It feels great. Randy Orton is one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time, 13-time WWE champion and to knock off somebody like him, the ‘Apex Predator’ is a great feeling; being a WWE champion and to be representing India is tremendous. Hopefully this will be the first of many WWE title reigns to come,” Mahal said.advertisementMahal answered the criticism he had received for his drastic physical transformation and said that it was all his hard work and strict diet.”I don’t know what kind of criticism that was. I worked hard in the gym a lot. All the WWE talents are drug tested by a third-party agency and I have been tested multiple times and never had an issue, so you know my transformation is all diet, all hard work.”Mahal thanked his Indian fans for all their support and urged people to play sports and stay healthy. He specially advised the youth of Punjab to leave drugs and respect their body.”I want to say thank you to everybody for supporting me. I also want to send a message to India’s youth. Anything is possible. Especially in Punjab, there is a huge drug problem right now. Stay away from that, take care of your body and respect yourself. Play sports, do exercise, stay healthy, get a good education and better your life,” Mahal signed off.last_img

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