“I gifted the cow and its calf to encourage her as

## ## Two Jerseys for this ace wrestler

The cups, medals and shields that she won in wrestling have been proudly displayed in her modest house in Palahalli village of Srirangapatna taluk. But the trophy that 23 year old Rita Priyanka received on Tuesday will have to be tethered in the shed next to her house.

She was gifted a Jersey cow and a calf by the former Mayor, R. Dhruva Kumar, in recognition of her triumph at the Dasara wrestling competition in Mysore recently.

The cow he promised to gift her had delivered a calf on Monday. “I gifted the cow and its calf to encourage her as she comes from a humble background,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu. Her father, Anthony Raj, a daily wager, will take care of the cow and the calf. It will supplement the family’s meagre income.

Considered an unconventional sport for girls, Rita took to wrestling when she was in high school. She was encouraged by her father who was a wrestling enthusiast. “I used to play Kabaddi when I was in school. My father taught me wrestling,” Rita says.

She was among the two women wrestlers who turned up at the wrestling competition organised during Dasara festival in 2004. In view of the poor response from women wrestlers from the State, the organisers of the Dasara wrestling competition invited wrestlers for the national championship in 2005. “I participated against wrestlers from Haryana and Rajasthan and bagged the third position. After that, there was no looking back. I have participated in several national women wrestling championships across the country,” she says.

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