India’s Olympic medal hope Bajrang Punia gives an update on his injured knee


One of India’s biggest medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics, Bajrang Punia recently suffered an injury to his right knee. Bajrang is seeded second in the 65kg weight category by United World Wrestling for Tokyo Olympics behind the top-seeded Russian Gadzhimurad Rashidov. Bajrang injured his knee during a match against Abulmazhid Kudiev in a tournament in Russia ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Commenting on the injury, Bajrang has said he will be back on the mat soon after the ace Indian wrestler injured his right knee during a tournament on Friday.

“Thank you for your affection and sympathy. You will see me back on the mat soon, all is well, nothing to worry about. Thanks,” Bajrang tweeted in Hindi on Saturday.

Wrestler Bajrang, who is India’s main medal hope at the marquee event, has chosen to prepare in Russia because of two reasons — first, he will get a chance to spar with experienced and champion wrestlers there and secondly because of the quarantine rules of Poland, where the rest of the Indian team is based in.

Earlier this week, the United World Wrestling (UWW) announced seeding for the Tokyo Olympics in different weight categories of men’s freestyle. Bajrang is seeded second in the 65kg weight category by UWW behind the top-seeded Russian Gadzhimurad Rashidov.

Last month, Bajrang had mentioned that he is working on all aspects of his game and hopes that the Indian wrestling contingent brings back at least three or four medals this time.

“I am training at home in Sonipat with the equipment and on the mats I have here. I want to do my best in the Olympics. For last one year-and-a-half, I have worked hard on my fitness,” Bajrang had said in an interaction, facilitated by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Bajrang has been a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme since November 2018 and has been provided financial assistance of 81 lakh towards international competition, equipment, coaching staff and out-of-pocket allowance.

(with ANI inputs)

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