Bajrang Punia represents India in the 65kg Freestyle Wrestling. He is the biggest hope for India to stike Gold at Tokyo 2020. He is presently ranked No.1 in the World in his Weight Category.
The 25 year old wrestler from Haryana is coached by Emaziros Bentinidis, and is mentored by Yogeshwar Dutt. Yogeshwar himself is an Olympic Bronze medalist in the 60 kg Category. Bajrang also like Vinesh Phogat won back to back Gold Medals in Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2018.
He started 2019 with a Gold in the Asian Championships and is in the Indian team for the World Championships. The World Championships this year is the first qualifying tournament for Tokyo Olympics.
Bajrang Punia has already been conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award and Padma Sree by the Government of India for his achievements.
Wrestling is one of the biggest medal hopes for India at Tokyo. Along with Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat, and olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik carry India’s hopes.
Team for World Championships
The Indian wrestlers who have till now qualified for the World Championships in the Olympic Weight Categories are:-
- Ravi- 57kgs
- Bajrang Punia- 65kgs
- Deepak-87 kgs
- Mausam Khatri- 97 kgs
- Sumit Malik-125 kgs
- Seema Bisla-50kgs
- Vinesh Phogat- 53kgs
- Sarita Mor-57kgs
- Sakshi Malik-68 kgs
- Divya Kakran-68 kgs
- Kiran-76 kgs
The trials for the 74kgs in the Men’s Freestyle in which double Olympic Medalist Sushil Kumar is participating will be held at a later date. The trials for the 06 weight Categories of Greeco Roman will also be held later. India had qualified 07 wrestlers in the last Olympics at Rio.
The encouraging factor for India is more than fifty percent of their wrestlers are young and in their early twenties. They all have the experience to fight at World levels, due continuous participations in World Level tournaments. Bajrang himself has numerous medals in the last two years in major international competitions. He was a silver medalist in the last World Championships.