Manjeet Chhillar Biography:
Quite often in life, it so happens that we search out for excellence in the wrong path unknowingly. And we face disappointment and distress because it is not the path that is meant for us because not everyone is blessed enough to find their calling at the start of their journey. Life takes every one of us through different paths and only the people who show the courage to keep going get to fulfil their destiny in the first place.
Quite often in life, we are burdened by failures and setbacks. We ponder too long on the incident and forget that it is upon us to bounce back. When there’s a wall on the road to glory, we step back and curse the roadblock instead of trying to find a way to get past it. This is what separates the champions from the average human. This is what makes them better than the rest of us. Because winners do not stop trying, instead, they find alternate ways to succeed and finally touch the glory. One such winner is Manjeet Chhillar.
The Indian Kabaddi International faced disappointment and defeat early in his athletic career, but it did not deter him from trying on. He kept striving for excellence and soon became one of the most recognized faces in the country. This is his story.
Manjeet Chhillar Early Life and Information:
Manjeet Chhillar was born on 18th August 1986 in Nizampur, a small village in Haryana. His father, Jai Prakash, was employed with the Haryana Police. Manjeet had a disciplined childhood but had enough freedom to enjoy the fun and amusements of growing up. As is common in the state of Haryana, wrestling had a huge influence in Manjeet’s neighbourhood. The young boy grew up dreaming of becoming a wrestler and representing India one day. He even practiced hard and championed many of the traditional wrestling moves. He soon grew quite good in the sport and left his village in search of better training facilities to improve his game. And this was here that tragedy struck him.
In one of the games, Manjeet Chillar was badly hurt and suffered a broken nose. The injury was so bad that it ended his wrestling career. The young man’s world came crashing down and left him on crossroads. There was no way he could pursue the game any further, so Manjeet felt there was no use to hang around and decided to head back home.
On the way back, the aspiring wrestler felt he was headed to an uncertain future, yet life had big plans for him. Contrary to his own perceptions, he was slowly headed towards the right way. But it was still highly disappointing for Manjeet to arrive back home without achieving the success he had desired. It left him dejected and broken. As a respite from the sadness, the young boy started playing Kabaddi with the boys in his neighbourhood. And then something happened.
It was like a spark, an undefined bolt of energy that charged him up every time he stepped on the kabaddi arena. He forgot his sorrows and sadness, he forgot his broken nose, his disappointing end to his wrestling career. The only thing on his mind was Kabaddi. It was like magic, like destiny. His life had suddenly completed a full circle when one fine day he realized that he could not imagine this world without the game. It was the same day he realized that he was delighted that life had brought him to the Kabaddi arena. Manjeet instantly knew that he had found his calling. He knew that Kabaddi was his destiny.
Once you find your calling and emerge yourself completely into it, you are bound to succeed. For Manjeet Chhillar, it was the start of a glorious career that transformed him into one of the greatest Kabaddi players in the country and a legend of the game.
Manjeet Chhillar spent hours in the gym and in the Kabaddi arena, practicing and perfecting himself. He improved his body strength and emphasized on using his wrestling skills to force the opposition raiders into submission. It was an advantage that he made very good use of and soon, Manjeet had transformed into a fantastic defender. However, he was extremely agile and cultured a love for raids as well. Manjeet spent extra time during practice sessions to improve his riding skills and embarked on the part to become a feared all-rounder. His big break came in 2010.
|Full Name||Manjeet Chillar|
|Date of Birth||Aug 18, 1986|
|Age||33 years old (as in 2020)|
|Father’s name||Jai Prakash|
|Current Club||Tamil Thalavias|
|Former Club||Bengaluru Bulls, Puneri Paltan and Jaipur Pink Panthers|
Team India Debut
Manjeet Chhillar rose steadily through the ranks and soon became a well-known name in the National Kabaddi circuit. His talent had caught the eye of national selectors and he was on the brink of entering the Indian National Kabaddi team. In 2010, Manjeet won the National Kabaddi Championships and broke into the National team. It was a huge achievement for the young man, who had been on the rise for some time. However, 2010 had more glory in store for him, as he was a part of the Indian Kabaddi team that competed in the 2010 Asian Games.
The 16th Asian Games was held in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, from 12th to 27th November 2010. A total of 9704 athletes from 45 countries competed for the grand prize. The Kabaddi tournament was held from 22nd to 26th November 2010, at the Nansha Gymnasium in Guangzhou, China. India was placed in group A alongside Iran and South Korea. In the preliminary round, India defeated Iran 40-24 on 23rd November. In the very next day, India faced South Korea and won the game 37-19.
This set up an exciting semi-final clash with Japan on 25th November, which India won 52-17, to reach the finals. In the final, India faced old foes Iran once again and at the end of a heavily contested game, India won 37-20 to achieve the Gold Medal. It was an exceptional debut tournament for Manjeet Chhillar, who had been one of the backbones of the team. The victory sends the whole nation into frenzied celebrations and Manjeet’s village basked in the glory of their most famous son. The young man had achieved his dream, he had won a gold medal for India, yet his journey had just started.
Manjeet Chhillar went on to win 2011 as well as the 2012 National Championships. He had truly announced himself to the Kabaddi circuit as a fantastic all-rounder. However, as was the case with Indian Kabaddi players, there was a lack of platform to showcase his skills on a regular basis. All that changed with the advent of the ProKabaddi league.
Teams Played for
|Season 1||Bengaluru Bulls|
|Season 2||Bengaluru Bulls|
|Season 3||Puneri Paltan|
|Season 4||Puneri Paltan|
|Season 5||Jaipur Pink Panthers|
|Season 6||Tamil Thalaivas|
|Season 7||Tamil Thalaivas|
Manjeet Chhillar in the Prokabaddi League
In 2014, Marshall Sports took a big step towards developing the Kabaddi environment in the country. The ever-increasing popularity of the game was clear ever since the 2006 Asian Games. The people at Marshall Sports decided to design a tournament on the format of the Indian Premier League, complete with Franchises representing different Cities of the country. There was even a player auction where teams battled to sign the player of their choice.
In the very first season of the Pro-kabaddi League, Manjeet Chhillar joined the Bengaluru Bulls and even though his team failed to win the coveted trophy, the man was a huge success. He played 16 matches and earned a total of 122 points, out of which were 51 raid points, the highest in the league! He was also the best all-rounder in the tournament and had a 60.71% tackle success rate and a 40.11 % raid strike rate. Manjeet had 2 super 10s, 2 super raids, and 2 high 5s! He also had the highest successful tackles in the tournament – 51. He was adjudged as the best defender in the inaugural season, which proved his calibre. As such, the first season of the Pro-kabaddi League was a huge success for Manjeet Chhillar, as it established him firmly as one of the best Kabaddi players in the country.
The 2014 Asian Games
As soon as the Pro kabaddi League ended, the Indian Kabaddi players swept aside their franchise allegiances and united to play for Team India in the 2014 Asian Games. The 17th Asian Games were held at Incheon, South Korea, from 19th September to 4th October 2014. It was estimated that around 9501 athletes participated in 439 events in 36 sports. The Kabaddi tournament was held from 28th September to 3rd October 2014, at Songdo Global University Gymnasium, Incheon, South Korea.
Team India was placed in group A, alongside Thailand, Bangladesh and bitter rivals Pakistan. India started the tournament by defeating Bangladesh 30-15 on 28th September. The very next day, Team India got the better of Thailand 66-27. On 30th September, in the last game of the group, India faced bitter rivals Pakistan. In a closely contested game, India won 23-11 and topped the group.
In the semi-finals, India came across South Korea. The host nation put up an impressive fight but was no match to India’s battle-hardened heroes. India won 36-25 in a closely contested match and progressed to the finals. Here, for the second time in succession, they were up against Iran. Incidentally, India had also defeated Iran in the 2010 Asian Games final. This time though, the Iran team were a tough bunch, who had their eyes for revenge. They started the game stronger and were 21-13 up at the half time. It looked like India were ready to settle for silver, however, there was a lot more to come.
Manjeet Chhillar and company were not about to give up their crown without a fight. And it was a proper battle in the second half. India recovered fantastically to take the lead in the second half and the match ended in a close finish. India won the Gold once again, with the final score 27-25!
Manjeet Chhillar in Prokabaddi League Season Two
Did you know this about Manjit Chillar from @BengaluruBulls @ProKabaddi ! #KnowYourPlayers #ProKabaddi #Kabaddi pic.twitter.com/5Q8nkaOS8X
— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) September 11, 2014
Buoyed by the fantastic display at the Asian Game in 2014, Manjeet Chhillar continued to work harder in the gym to increase his strength. He spent more and more time in practice and strived for excellence. He returned to action in the Prokabaddi League for the second season, once again in the colours of Bengaluru Bulls and enjoyed another stellar campaign. He appeared in 16 games and had a not out percentage of 85.25%! He had a raid strike rate of 30.87% and a tackle success rate of 51.28%. He earned a total of 107 points, second only to Kashiling Adake, the famous raider. He had 40 tackle points and registered 1 super tackle and 3 high 5s. He was also named the Most Valuable Player of the second season of the Pro Kabaddi League. It was also during this season, that Manjeet Chhillar came to be known as the “One Man Army”, thanks to his wide range of skills. However, perhaps his most famous move was the Block, where he stood like a wall between the raider and the half-line and refused to allow the raider to leave. It soon became his signature move and was very hard to emulate.
For starters, the move required tremendous strength and power, and very few players had that kind of abilities. The Block also required an astute understanding of the game, which involved tracking the movement of the raider and anticipating his run. It also required a series of instant decisions, choosing the correct moment to take the plunge, timing the move to perfection and also judging the viability of the move. The Block and its perfect execution further increased Manjeet Chhillar’s reputation in the Kabaddi world.
The young man from Haryana continued to excel in the Prokabaddi League, moving to Puneri Paltan in the 3rd season and playing there for the 4th season as well. However, his next big achievement came with the Indian National Team.
The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup
The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup was held at Ahmedabad from 7th to 22nd October 2016 and had twelve participants. India was in Pool A, alongside Bangladesh, England, Australia, South Korea, and Argentina. With the tournament being held in the country, there were very high hopes from the team, however, they had a shocking start to the event! In the very first game, India was defeat 32-34 by South Korea, on 7th October. It dampened the mood around the country, however, India bounced back soon.
In the next game against Australia on the very next day, India had a stellar win, with the game ending 54-20 in the host nation’s favour. India then went on to defeat Bangladesh, Argentina and finally England to finish second in the group, after the South Koreans. This set up a semi-final against Thailand on 21st October.
India had momentum on their side and they had a near-perfect outing against Thailand, winning the game 73-20 and reaching the final. Their opponent in the final of the 2016 World Cup was, once again, Iran! This time too, India emerged deserved winners and became the Champions of the world. Manjeet Chhillar finished the tournament with 22 points, just a point behind his countryman Surjeet, who won the best defender award.
Manjeet Chhillar Awards and Achievements
- Conferred with the Arjuna Award by the Government of India in 2015
- Won the gold medal in Asian games in 2014 held in Incheon, South Korea
- Also won the gold medal at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup held in Ahmedabad, India
- He was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament in the second season of Pro Kabaddi League
|Total Matches Played||108|
|Total Earned Points||563|
|Most Points in a match||14|
|Not out percentage||81.08%|
|Successful raids %||31.15|
|Total raid points||224|
|Average raid per match||2.07|
|Number of super tackles||15|
|Total tackle points||339|
|Average tackles per match %||3|
|Tackle strike rate %||54.58|
Manjeet Chhillar Kabaddi Stats
|Season||Team||Matches||Total Raids||Successful Raids||Unsuccessful Raids||Raid TouchPoints||Raid Bonus points||Total Raid Points|
|PKL 7||Tamil Thalavias||15||19||5||8||5||2||4|
|PKL 6||Telugu Titans||19||29||5||6||4||4||8|
|PKL5||Jaipur Pink Panthers||15||29||4||9||4||1||5|
|Season||Team||Matches||Total Tackles||Successful Tackles||Total Tackle Points||Tackle Strike Rate|
|PKL 7||Tamil Thalavias||15||81||51||37||45.67|
|PKL 6||Telugu Titans||19||123||56||62||50.41|
|PKL5||Jaipur Pink Panthers||15||72||46||47||65|
Manjeet Chhillar has played 93 matches in the Pro Kabaddi League and has amassed a total of 522 points! The most points he has scored in one match is 14, and he has a not out percentage of 81.42%. Manjeet has registered 700 raids with a 31.42% raid strike rate. He has 5 super raids, 2 super 10s, and 220 total raid points to his name. He has attempted 540 tackles in the Prokabaddi League, with a success rate of 55.92%. He has 13 super tackles and 21 high 5s and has registered a total of 302 tackle points, which is the highest in the history of the league. Manjeet Chhillar also has the highest number of successful tackles in the history of the league – 289. His 21 high 5s is also the highest in the history of the league.
In 2015, the Government of India recognized his contribution to Kabaddi and awarded him with the Arjuna Award. He continues to be a huge inspiration for the budding Kabaddi players in the country and also aspires to open a training centre to help the game at the grass-root level at one point of his life. As of now though, Manjeet Chhillar will continue to rule to court. His experience makes him a wise and tricky opponent on the mat, that one player whom everyone is wary of. And Manjeet will continue to raid, he will continue to block and he will continue to reign supreme on the court. Because Manjeet Chhillar is a champion, a one-man army, who has no intentions of stopping any time soon! We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
Manjeet Chhillar Social Media:
Manjeet Chhillar Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/manjeetchillar12
Manjeet Chhillar Twitter: https://twitter.com/m00492440
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