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THE CHAMPION

WRESTLER..

HACKENSCHMIDT AND THE

AFGHANS.

THE RUSSIAN VICTOR.

Melbourne, February 12.

Au doubt as to wüo is the champion wrestler in Australia at the present time was most effectually settled at the Exhi- bition Building on Saturday night, in the presence of at least 8,000 people, who wit- nessed the downfall of the Indians Gunga Brahm and Buttan Singh at the. hands of George Hackenschmidt. The style was catch-as-catch-can, and the conditions that Hackenschmidt in order to win had to throw each opponent once, a fair fall, both shoulders touching the mat.

Gunga Brahm was Hackenschmidt's first opponent. Dr. O'Hara was referee. When the men advanced to attack the difference in physical construction was verj' notice- able. The Hindu, tall and sineivy, moved stealthily août the mat, trying to evade the clasps of his opponent, while Hacken- schmidt, massive, yet light-looking, with great muscles working like springs be- neath his white skin, strode after him, seeking an opening. A quick clasp and o breakaway, and Hackenschmidt's right hand found a resting place on the back of the Hindu's neck, who in an instant was prone on the mat, sent straight off his feet lace downwards with one powerful drag. A half Nelson with the left, and an arm hold with the right to prevent twisting were applied with judicious, pressure, and Gunga Brahm was gazing up into the dome with both shoulders squarely on the mat. The fall was so ludicrously swift that the spectators almost unanimously burst into laughter. The time given was 41 sec., but about half of that was »pent by Hackenschmidt in moving deliberately about the mat, waiting a chance to spring.

Buttan Singh fully made up for his countryman's easy capitulation by putting up a really first-class resistance, during which he displayed a wonderful scientific defence. Buttan Singh had never before been put upon his defence in Australia. He has hitherto been top-sawyer always, but he showed on Saturday night that he is as clever and as tactful in losing as in winning a battle. Half a dozen times he broke away from holds which if maintain- ed would have meant certain disaster, and once or twice he adopted attack movements that made the champion careful. When foiced to the > mat Buttan Singh does not assume the conventional defensive spread, but doubles himself up into a frog-like at- titude, which is most difficult to deal with,

and at the same time leaves him free to shoot out of danger at any moment the attack is relaxed He makes a wonderfully effective use of his knees and leg3_ in ward- ing off Nelson's and other aggressive move- ments designed to turn him over. At two minutes Hackenschmidt obtained a body clasp and brought Buttan down at his shoulders, but the fall was not asked for. The struggle continued mostly with Buttan crouched in defence till 9 min. 45 sec, when Hackenschmidt secured a most unmistakable fall with a giant's swing. The win was hailed with at roar of cheering both for the victor and the vanquished.

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