Name of the sportsperson: Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
Date of Birth: 15 January 1926 (died on 14 August 1984)
• Bronze in Helensiki Olympic Games in 1952
• Sixth position in 1948 London Olympics
• Arjuna award 2001(posthumously)
K.D Jadhav is the wrestler who was the first individual to win an Olympic medal in wrestling in 1952. He was born at a village called Goleshwar Tal in Satara district in Maharashtra. His father was also a noted local wrestler. He made waves when he downed the local champion in his first bout at an age of 8. Jadhav became undisputed champion of his area. English man Rees Gardner trained him for 1948.
Jhadav faced financial crunch throughout his life. He had to struggle to arrange for his traveling fare, as well as his fooding and lodging expenses for participation in the Olympic Games.
In the 1948 London Olympics, he participated in the flyweight category finishing sixth. Four years later, before the selection for Helsinki Olympics, Jadhav alleged that nepotism among officials prevented him from getting selected for the Olympics. According to him, they intentionally gave him one point less than the eventual winner at the Madras Nationals, and this ruled him out of the Olympics. He did not bow down to corrupt officialdom and appealed to Maharaja of Patiala seeking justice. Fortunately the Maharaja of Patiala loved sports, saw his point, and arranged his entry in Olympic trials where he floored his opponent and won an entry in the Olympics.
After his qualification he had to struggle hard to fund his journey to Helinski. His school''s principal mortgaged his house for Rs 7000 to fund his trip. He eventually won a bronze medal. His feat remained unchallenged since Sushil Kumar won the gold medal in 2008 Olympic Games. His record of winning the only individual medal remained till 1996 Atlanta Olympic where Leander Paes won a bronze in tennis.
He died in an accident in 1984. He was conferred with Arjuna award in 2001.