Hetal Dave (Sumo wrestler) Wiki, Age, Family, Biography & More

Hetal Dave is an Indian sumo wrestler. As of 2024, she is India’s first and only female professional sumo wrestler. She is No. 5 on the list of top female sumo wrestlers in the world. She received the Shiv Chhatrapati Award from the Government of Maharashtra. She is also a judo trainer.

Wiki/Biography

Hetal Sudhir Dave (also known as Hetal Sujit Sharma after marriage) was born on 8 December 1987 (age 36 years; as of 2024) in Rajasthan, India. Her zodiac sign is Sagittarius. Hetal holds a Commerce degree.

A picture of young Hetal Dave

A picture of young Hetal Dave

Physical Appearance

Height: 5′ 6″

Weight (approx.): 80 kg

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Black

Hetal Dave, professional sumo wrestler

Family & Caste

Hetal Dave was born into a Brahmin Rajasthani family.

Parents & Siblings

Hetal’s father’s name is Sudhir Dave. She has a brother named Akshay who is also a sumo wrestler.

Hetal Dave (extreme right) with her parents and brother

Hetal Dave (extreme right) with her parents and brother

Husband & Children

Hetal is married to Sujeet Sharma. The couple got married on 26 April 2018.

Hetal Dave with Sujeet Sharma

Hetal Dave with Sujeet Sharma

Career

Hetal Dave was interested in sports from a very young age, she started by learning judo when she was five years old. She trained in judo for over ten years. She came across sumo wrestling when her coach Cawas Billimoria (Indian judo champion and professional coach for sumo wrestling) was discussing the sport. Hetal’s father and brother encouraged her to pursue the sport. Training was difficult as there were no girls for Hetal to train with, so she started practising with her brother and other male players.

Hetal Dave (left) practising sumo wrestling with her brother

Hetal Dave (left) practising sumo wrestling with her brother

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She also had to practice in an open space since there was no sumo ring in India. She started training by observing the men who used to play the sport and then turned to YouTube to get well-versed in the basics of sumo wrestling. Hetal started practising at the Oval Maidan in South Mumbai. She faced issues with receiving funding to participate in events and championships. Speaking of her funding difficulties in an interview, Hetal said,

The association can only forward the names to the World Championship organisers. We have to fund our own tickets, stay, basically everything. People don’t know much about Sumo, hence they don’t care. That is why I haven’t been able to participate since 2012. Some potential sponsors even go to the extent of saying, ‘Ladki hoke sumo khelte ho (you play sumo being a girl?),’ which is difficult to hear.”

Although India has the SUMO Federation of India, they do not provide monetary support. Hetal also provides training to students from different schools in wrestling and judo. She taught self-defence and judo at the BJPC Institution Jr. College and the Walsingham House School in Mumbai.

Competitions 

In 2008, Hetal participated in her first international championship, the 2008 World Championship in Estonia. She was sponsored by a Gujarati businessman who came across her story in the Gujarati Mid-day newspaper. She also participated in the 2009 World Games in Taipei, Taiwan, where she won fifth place in the middleweight category. Hetal was the only female participant representing India the the World Games. She has also taken part in tournaments in Poland and Finland.

Hetal Dave striking a sumo wrestling pose

Hetal Dave striking a sumo wrestling pose

Sumo Didi

Sumo Didi is a film based on the life of Hetal Dave’s life and wrestling career. It was released in 2023. It was the only Indian film screened at the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival and the 35th Palm Springs International Film Festival where it reached the “Best of Fest” list and received lots of applause. Actress Shriyam Bhagnani plays the role of Hetal in the film.

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A still from the film based on Hetal Dave's life, Sumo Didi

A still from the film based on Hetal Dave’s life, Sumo Didi

Controversies

Case Regarding Anticipatory Bail

In 2021, under the Bombay High Court’s criminal jurisdiction, Hetal Dave applied for anticipatory bail in connection to a case registered at a police station in Mumbai. The case involved allegations under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which related to financial transactions and fraud. Sudha Sharma, the aunt of the complainant (Hetal Dave), was accused of fraudulent activities regarding a housing project. It was alleged that Sharma persuaded Hetal to make payments under false pretences, leading to charges of cheating. Hetal’s legal counsel claimed that the allegations were fabricated. They highlighted discrepancies in the case and emphasized that Hetal’s involvement was very less compared to Sharma’s alleged actions. The court rejected Sudha Sharma’s application for anticipatory bail but granted relief to Hetal Dave. The court also ordered Hetal to cooperate with the investigating officer when required.

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  • In 2008, Hetal Dave’s name was entered in the Limca Book of Records.
  • In 2009, Hetal Dave was included in Newsweek’s list of “150 Fearless Women”.
  • Hetal Dave won the Fempowerment Women Achievers Award in 2016 under the sports category.
  • In 2019, Hetal Dave won a Women Super Achiever award at the 6th World Women Leadership Congress and Awards Ceremony.
    Hetal Dave posing with her Women Super Achiever award

    Hetal Dave posing with her Women Super Achiever award

  • Hetal Dave holds the Yokozuna rank, the highest rank in sumo wrestling.
  • Hetal Dave won the Maharashtra Achievers Awards 2021 from Femina under the Outstanding Contribution to Sports category.
    A still from Hetal Dave's acceptance speech at the Maharashtra Achievers Awards 2021

    A still from Hetal Dave’s acceptance speech at the Maharashtra Achievers Awards 2021

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Tattoo

Hetal has a tattoo of an infinity sign with the word “faith” on her left hand.

A picture of Hetal Dave with the tattoo on her left hand

A picture of Hetal Dave with the tattoo on her left hand

Facts/Trivia

  • Hetal Dave is often referred to as “Sumo Didi”.
  • Hetal Dave loves animals and has a pet dog named Mogli.
    Hetal Dave with her pet dog, Mogli

    Hetal Dave with her pet dog, Mogli

  • In an interview, Hetal stated that she used to watch martial arts movies with Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee to inspire herself.
  • Hetal failed the ninth standard twice until she moved to a different school that supported her sports training.
  • Hetal follows a strict vegetarian diet. In an interview, she stated that her standard diet consisted of rice, dal, vegetables or dosas. She also said that she occasionally ate junk food like the “McAloo Tikki” burger from McDonald’s.
  • In 2009, when Hetal went to the World Championships in Taiwan, she had to borrow the mawashi (belt worn by sumo wrestlers) from the Japanese team who tied the belt for her as she didn’t know how to put it on.
    Hetal Dave wearing the traditional sumo wrestling mawashi

    Hetal Dave wearing the traditional sumo wrestling mawashi

Categories: Sports
Source: dienchau2.edu.vn

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