2004 Photo Contest, Sports Feature, 3rd prize

Jan Sibik

Reflex Magazine

01 December, 2003

Fighters rest along the edge of the arena, known as the akhada. Kusti, a form of traditional Indian wrestling, takes place in an arena covered with red clay dust. The town of Kolhapur is the center of kusti, attracting young men from all over the country. Wrestlers train twice a day and live, eat and sleep together in a small room near the arena. Gymnastic and aerobic exercises form part of the training. After exercising, wrestlers rub their bodies with the dust to dry perspiration and prevent the body from cooling too quickly and causing illness. The earth is also thought to have curative properties.

About the photographer

Jan Sibik

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