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Journey of Bajrang Punia : A strong Gold medal prospect at Tokyo 2020

Bajrang Punia received Khel Ratna from sports minister Kiren Rijiju.PC-twitter/@bajrangpunia

Punia was born in Jhajjar district in Haryana, has began wrestling at the age of seven. He was encouraged to pursue the sport by his father. As Bajrang was not born with a silver spoon so he has to face many monetary hardships during his initial days. However, it was his friend cum guru the famous wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt who has always supported him.

Start of his professional journey

Bajrang’s journey started in 2006 in the field of wrestling when he started going to the stadium to learn this sport professionally. He did his initial training in Chhatrasal stadium in Delhi under the guidance of his coach Shri Mahabaleshwar Pal.

In 2014, he joined Yogeshwar Academy and since then he is training under Yogeshwar Dutt. He won so many medals in a small time and has been through a wonderful journey.

International Medals

Bajrang’s first big medal was at Asian Championship in Delhi in 2013, where he finish with a bronze medal. Same year in 60kg weight category he went on winning the Bronze medal at World Championships in Budapest. That was just a start of his successful journey as he grabbed Silver medal at Asian Championships, 2014 in Astana.

At Asian Games, 2014 in Incheon, he won a Silver medal. He also won a Silver medal in his first attempt at Commonwealth Games, 2014 in Glasgow.He has won a Silver medal at recently concluded World Championships, 2019 in Nur-Sultan.

Awarded with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratan

Bajrang won Arjun award in 2015. In 2019 he was award with Padma Shri Award by President of India. On 28-November he was awarded with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratan award.

About Tokyo 2020 Challenge

His weak leg defence is no secret and his rivals have successfully managed to use it to their advantage. For the same reason,  his rivals, their coaches and even the fans believe that he starts 4-5 points behind even before stepping on to the mat.

Gadzhimurad Rashidov of Russia, the 2 time world silver medallist at 61kg category decided to compete at 65 kilos for the 2020 Olympic cycle. Just 3 months before the world championship he started his journey in the 65kg category and won world championships gold defeating India’s biggest bet for medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Bajrang Punia.

Without any doubt he will be the biggest threat for Bajrang Punia at Tokyo 2020 and the Indian will have to produce something very special to beat the Russian.

After receiving Khel Ratna, he said world will see a completely new Bajrang and will win gold at Tokyo Olympic. Indian fans will be hoping that Bajrang dish out every opponent and win Gold for India.