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WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP., Wanganui Chronicle, Volume L, Issue 12915, 20 June 1906
THE RUSSIAN LION DEFEATS THE
In the coursd of its report of the contest for the wrestling championship of the world between the Russian Lion (Ha-ckensniidt) and the Terrible Turk (Madrali) at the Olyrapia games, the ■.London "Daily Telegraph" says:— The doors of the building were opened at four in the afternoon, with the object of avoiding the terrible crush which took place when Hackenschmidt and Madrali first met. From seven o'ekek Lieutenant Forest's military band and a number of preliminary bouts of fencing and wrestling by various amateurs and professionals helped to while away the time. It was impossible, however, to take keen interest in these preliminaries with the great event looming in the distance, and the audience had become impatient when tho hands of the arena clock pointed to nine. Even then -there was some delay, and it was twenty minutes past nine when Madrali, accompanied by Antonio Pierri and George Hairriiigton, his 6ecoHcfe, mounted the platform. The Turk received ia fine reception, but the,cheering did not acquire .its full volume till Hackenschmidt and his supporters, Gunner Mocr and Jack Smith, climbed into view half a minute afterwards. There cauld be no mistaking which of the men was tho favourite of the audience. The Turk Avor-o a long black robe over his fighting costume of dark \blue shorts, while the Russian concealed his magnificent proportions under a brown dressing a-own. An intense silence fell as tho master of ceremonies announced the combatant's and introduced Mr. G. T. Dunning, tho referee. Both Hackenschmidt and Madrali were deadly pale. The Turk sat back in his chair, stolid and impassive, but with his eyes grimly fixed on his opponent at the opposito corner of the platform. Ha'ckenschmidt, on tho ether hand, sat leaning forward in his seat, looking tense and eager, hio eyes cast down, but waiting like a couched tiger for a spring. Mr. Dunning crossed to each in turn, .and instantly the two wrestlers sprang to their feet, letting fall their c!oaks as they rose, and a mighty cheer relieved the pent-up feelings of the spectators. Both men looked in the pink of condition. Their skins glistened with a satiny sheen which showed their perfect physical fitness. Hackenschmidt was obviously tho more powerful of the two. Hi?, muscles r093 in immense swelling folda on arms, shoulders, chest, and legs, and there was an alertness and compactness about his appearance which ■compared favourably with the bigger but softer-looking bulk of the Turk. There was a sentence or two of caution from the referee, and the two magnificent athletes advanced to the centre, touched hands in the conventional manner, and then, backing a pace, crouched for an opening. - Hackenschmidt sprang; forward, missed his catch, and was clear before the Turk could close with him. Then there was a moment's sparring, and they gripped each other and came down, off the mat. The reiercee cautioned the Turk, and the two men leaped to their feet and stood clear. Madrali made, a dash at tho Russian and tried to get his favourite leg-hold, but Hackenschmidt, with astounding agility, jumped back out of danger, and before- the Turk could recover was in on him with a movement almost too rapid for the eye to follow. Catching his opponent by the left arm ho sxvung him over, and amid a terrifip roar from the audience, had him on the raat in the twinkling of an eye. Exerting all hia enormous strength he pressed the Turk over, the muscles standing out on his back and shoulders like knotted cTibles with tho effort. Inch *by inch the Turk Avent over, and the Russian's mighty chest came down, and Madrali's shoulders were pinned to the floor. Up -went the referee's hand, and Hackensohmi'dt scored tho first fall in 1 mm. 34 sees.
There was a burst of cheering that shook the roof, and the two men sprang to their feet, the Turk's face wearing a sickening expression of defeat. Pierri rushed across to him with & gesture of despair, and apparently upbraided him for the rashness of the attempt which had laid him at the Russian's mercy. Madrali shrugged his huge shoulders, walked slowly to his corner, wrapped his c:oak about him, and sat down. The Russian donned the brown dressing gown, and with a look of supreme confidence, as if he had measured his man and was content, strode slowly down the steps to his a-oom, amid the* frantic enthusiasm of his backers, to take the fifteen minutes' rest allowed by the rules. Madrali eat impassive in his corner, listening to the cautions of his seconds with a stolid smile on his face.
Twelve minutes afterwards Hackenschmidt returned to the platform. When time was called the athletes faced each other again for the struggle. Getting neck-holds they tested each other's strength, and again Madrali tried for Hackensohmidt's leg, and brought his man down on the mat on all fours. Struggling fiercely to get HackenfJchmidt over, Madrali worked off the mat, and tho referee gave the usual caution. Instantly Hackenschmidt calmly crawled to the centre of the mat with his opponent on his back. Failing, despite efforts which were almost convulsive, to move Hackenschmidt, Madrali hesitated for a moment, and then tried to get a halfnelson. The attempt was a failure, and like a. flash, Hackenschmidt's mighty right hand seized the Turk's arm; there was a mighty heave, a roll, and tho Turk, "taken by surprise while in the attacking position, av.hs on his back, with Haokenschmidt's Aveight pressing his shoulders flat in a perflect pin-fall to tha mat. Hackenschmidt had got the necessary two falls out of three, and was the champion wrestler of the world. Time, exactly four minutes.
Then pandemonium broke loose. The cheering Avas almost appalling; men and women clambered over the rails and croAvded on to the floor of the arena, yelling as if they were insane and tossing hats and sticks in the air, heedless of where they fell. The Russian's seconds threw his diressing gown around him and tried to hasten him to his dressing room. Throwing them iaway from him and smoothing away from hi:) face the glad smile Avhich Avreathed it as he had risen the victor, he ran across tha platform and shook hands Avith hie defeated opponent, and then rushed, away to his room, while his friends clustered round him, cheering like mad. MadraLi sat down in his chair for a moment and gazed moodily at th«j floor, then rose and walked eloWly from the scene of hia defeat.
Thero is no doubt but that the best man won. Haekensehmidt was incontestably the superior of Madrali in power and skill, and in the rapidity and intelligence with which he seized the openings given him. The weights and measurements of the two men just before the contest were as follows:—Madrali: Height, G feet 0£ inches; chest, 45 inches; thigh, 27 inches; calf, 17-2 mches; forearm, 14£ inches; neck, 18 inches: biceps, 18| inches; .waist, 35 mchos; weight, 16 st.; age, 29 years. Hackenschm.idt: Height, 5 feet 8 inches; chest. 52 inches; thigh, 26 inches; calf. 17-i inches; forearm, .154 inches': neck, 22 inches; biceps, 18| inches; Avaist,-<|: 33 .inches; weight, 14 st. 10 lbs.; age, 28 veiars.
WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP., Wanganui Chronicle, Volume L, Issue 12915, 20 June 1906
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