MIRI Piri Wrestling Club’s head coach, Sucha Mann, who’s also head coach of Abbotsford’s Rich Hansen’s Hurricanes wrestling team, once again proved his amazing skills when, last Saturday, his club won the B.C. Open Championship in Abbotsford.
In the cadet and juvenile division, Miri Piri won three gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal:
* Devin Purewal won gold in the 85 kg weight category. Just a few weeks earlier, Purewal had won gold at the B.C. Secondary Schools Wrestling Championship.
(Another South Asian, Amtoj Dhaliwal of Baba Sheikh, won bronze in the same category.
* Justin Gill bagged gold in the 76 kg weight category.
(Sukhi Sekhon of Khalsa got silver and Manraj Kahlon of Rustom won bronze in the same category.)
* ‘Skinny but sharp’ Jagmeet Klair, whose photograph was featured on our front page on March 8 with Sucha Mann when he won gold at the B.C. Secondary Schools Wrestling Championship in the lowest weight category of 41 kg, bagged gold in the 42 kg weight category.
* Umrao Dahdda won silver in the 54 kg weight category.
(Tejpaul Kullar of Abby WC won gold in the same category).
* Pavanpreet Sangha bagged silver in the 50 kg weight category.
(Amar Atwal of Khalsa won gold in the same category).
* Ravdeep Toor got silver in the 42 kg weight category.
* Pritpal Johal won bronze in the 50 kg weight category.
(Other South Asians who won medals were Gurjot Gill of Rustom who won silver in the 72 kg weight category; Harbans Gill of Rustom who won bronze in the 69 kg weight category; Tanjot Kahlon of Western Alliance who won gold in the 66 kg weight category; Harman Basra of Abby WC who won gold and Harjog Jagpal of Rustom who won bronze in the 63 kg weight category; and Gagan Hundal of Guildford Park who won silver and Karan Basra of Hargobind who won bronze in the 58 kg weight category.)
In the schoolboy division, Miri Piri’s Sahhmy Mann won gold in the 58 kg weight category and Parmjot Sidhu won gold in the 32 kg weight category.
In the elementary division, Zora Dahdda won silver in the 38 kg weight category, Arman Dhillon won silver in the 28 kg weight category.
MANN won the title of “Outstanding Coach” for the 2008-2009 wrestling season awarded by the B.C. Wrestling Association when he was Team BC’s wrestling head coach.
My readers are familiar with the raft of achievements that Sucha has under his belt over the years.
For example, at the 2009 Canada Summer Games the team he trained won two medals more than Team BC had at the 2005 Canada Summer Games. Also, Team BC placed second in the team standings, with the powerful Team Ontario winning first place. Four years before that, Team BC had placed fourth. BC Team’s success spoke volumes of his skills.
Mann was inspired to take up wrestling by his grandfather, the late Mojiram Maan, who lived in a village in the Indian state of Haryana, adjoining Delhi. His uncle, Hansbir Singh, joined the world famous Indian wrestler Guru Hanuman’s akhara (wrestling club) in New Delhi in 1978 and Mann went to the same akhara in 1981.
He was accorded a hero’s welcome by the entire village after he won a silver medal at the world cadet (under-16) championships in Ontario in 1987. He was presented a garland of currency notes and taken around in a procession to the beat of dholaks (drums).
Sucha was a five-time Indian national champion in the 68 kg category in both the Indian and Olympic styles.
Sucha later won a bronze medal for India at the 1993 Commonwealth championships in Victoria. He came fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 1994, both in the 68 kg category.
Then he switched over to Canada and won a silver medal at the International Canada Cup in 1995.
Sucha started the Miri Piri Wrestling Club in 2006, after serving as head coach with the Surrey Wrestling Club (now the Khalsa Wrestling Club) for 12 years. He has also been head coach at Rick Hansen since 2006 and under him, the Abbotsford school has won the provincial championship twice.
NOW Mann is looking ahead to the nationals, because wining there could help his wrestlers – Devin Purewal, Justin Gill, Navdeep Toor and Pavanpreet Sangha – qualify to represent Canada at the Youth Olympics in China this year.
The winners at the nationals will represent Canada at the FILA trials. Those who win at the trials will head to the PanAm Championship. Those who come in the top 3 in each category at that championship will qualify to represent their country at the Youth Olympics.
Indeed, Canada and South Asians can be truly proud of having a coach as talented as Mann.