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Who is Bajrang Punia? 5 things you didn't know about the Tokyo Olympics medal hopeful

World Number 2 Bajrang Punia (R) [Image Credits: Bajrang Punia/Twitter]
World Number 2 Bajrang Punia (R) [Image Credits: Bajrang Punia/Twitter]
Godwin Mathew
ANALYST

Bajrang Punia is one of India's best wrestlers. The Harayana grappler has been in great form over the past few years and will be hoping to continue his brilliance on the mat at the Tokyo Olympics.

After having won medals from almost all important events, Bajrang will be keen to finish on the podium to cement his place as one of India's best wrestlers. On that note, here are a few things you probably didn't know about the grappler.

Also read: Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat among Indians gearing up for the Asian Championships in final build-up to the Tokyo Olympics

#1 Bajrang Punia began wrestling at the age of seven

Bajrang Punia comes from a poor family in Haryana. His father was a wrestler and wanted his son to pursue the sport. At the tender age of seven, Bajrang started wrestling in an akhada. In 2015, he moved to Sonepat with his family to attend a regional center at the Sports Authority of India.

#2 Bajrang Punia has WC, CWG, Asiad medals

Bajrang Punia has racked up many medals in his career that include a silver and two bronze medals at the World Championships. The Harayana wrestler won gold at the Asian Championships in 2017 and 2019 and has a total of seven medals from that competition, including three silver and two bronze medals.

Bajrang impressed everyone with his stunning display at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as he grabbed the gold in the 65kg category. He followed that up with yet another top podium finish at the Asian Games that same year.

Five milestones in Bajrang Punia's Road to Tokyo Olympics 2021

#3 Bajrang Punia is very active on social media

Bajrang Punia is one of the most active wrestlers on social media. The grappler has 239k followers on Instagram and keeps sharing his training videos and other things happening in his life. He is also very active on Twitter and has over 139k followers there.

#4 Bajrang Punia's Whatsapp display image

Bajrang Punia is very confident about his chances of winning gold in Tokyo. The grappler has put up a display picture of a gold medal with Tokyo 2020 written over it, which shows his confidence and willingness to win.

While talking about the gold medal display picture to India Today, Punia said:

"I had put this DP in 2016 and since then this is my DP. It has been 5 years since this has been on my display. My target is Tokyo because it comes first, I can't keep 2024 as my target as 2020 comes first. My target is Tokyo and the medal displayed on my DP, I pray to God that the color remains the same when I step foot on the mat at the Games."

#5 What is Bajrang Punia's current world rank?

The grappler competes in the 65kg category which is considered to be one of the toughest in wrestling. Bajrang is currently ranked second in the category, only eight points behind America's Joseph Christopher McKenna.

He was ranked world number 1 until March. But post that the Indian decided to train in Russia prior to the Olympics and skipped the ranking series in Poland, which means that he would be ranked second going into the Olympics.

Also Read: Bajrang Punia and coach Shako devise a master training plan for Tokyo Olympics

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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