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Bajrang Punia hoping for quick return of competitive wrestling action 

Indian wrestling standout Bajrang Punia
Indian wrestling standout Bajrang Punia
Gaurav Kadam
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 22 Oct 2020, 19:23 IST
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Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has expressed his desire to see the return of competitive wrestling action as he undergoes preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Punia, along with fellow Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers, is undergoing a camp at the SAI National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Sonepat, Haryana. The camp began on September 1 with all the wrestlers having to follow the 14-day mandatory quarantine period before beginning to train.

Bajrang Punia has secured his qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games in the 65 kg freestyle category and is one of the medal hopefuls for India. He has been in fine form on the world stage over the last couple of years. He won gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships and a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships.

He expressed his happiness to be back on the mat again and commended the arrangements at the training camp arranged by SAI.

"“It is very good that we are back at training, it isn’t that we were out of rhythm because we were training at our homes during the lockdown but that cannot be compared to what one can do at the camp and when we train on mats.
"The arrangements that have been made at SAI Sonepat are very good and safe, proper zoning of the campus has been done and no outsider can come in contact. All wrestlers feel very safe here."

Bajrang Punia among three Indian wrestlers to secure spots in the Tokyo Olympics

India has won three Tokyo Olympics spots so far in the freestyle category with Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia and Ravi Dahiya securing participation.

The World Wrestling Championships are scheduled to be held in December this year and Punia was hopeful that the tournament goes ahead as planned along with other wrestling events.

"We were in good rhythm before the lockdown was announced. Even now our training is going well but we will only know our level and where we stand when we compete."
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Indian wrestlers will have the opportunity to secure the remaining Olympic quotas in men's wrestling (3 in Freestyle and 6 in Greco-Roman) when the World and Asian Qualification tournaments take place next year.

Published 22 Oct 2020, 19:23 IST
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