Bajrang Punia's departure to USA delayed due to visa issue

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia. (PC: WFI)
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia. (PC: WFI)
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Hari Kishore M

Ace Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia's preparations for the upcoming 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (CWG 2022) have taken a hit due to a delay in the processing of his visa.

Bajrang was scheduled to leave for the United States of America earlier this week for a 35-day training-cum-exposure trip.

The Indian wrestler will be practicing at the University of Michigan to prepare for upcoming competitions, including the Commonwealth Games. Sujeet Maan, Bajrang's personal coach, and physio Anand Dubey will also accompany the wrestler to the USA.

Read: India at CWG 2022: Full list of Indian athletes who have qualified for Commonwealth Games 2022 (Updated)

However, according to sources in the know, the ace Indian wrestler's visa has been delayed while his personal coach and physio's biometrics are yet to be done. The 28-year-old wrestler had given his biometrics and has been waiting for his visa to get approved.

The delay has robbed Bajrang of precious time as the ace Indian wrestler was scheduled to start his preparations for CWG 2022 soon.

The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Union Sports Ministry had earlier approved financial assistance for Bajrang's training camp. The Union Sports Ministry's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) will fund Bajrang Punia's travel, boarding and daily expenses during the training camp.

The expenses would also cover the costs for his personal coach and physiotherapist.

Bajrang Punia chooses USA for quality training purposes

Bajrang had previously explained his reasons for choosing to begin his preparations at the University of Michigan. Punia said during a virtual media interaction:

“There are good sparring partners at the University of Michigan. The facilities are also good. The conducive environment will certainly enable me to better prepare for the Commonwealth Games,”

After CWG 2022, Bajrang will participate in the World Wrestling Championships, which is scheduled to be held in September.

With qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics commencing in early 2023, the CWG 2022 and the World Wrestling Championships will provide an insight into Bajrang's form ahead of the marquee event.

The ace Indian wrestler competes in the 65 kg freestyle category.

Also read: India’s star wrestlers Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia book their places in squad for Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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