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Bajrang Punia: Everything you need to know about new Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang Punia | Tokyo Olympics News

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia went into the Tokyo Olympics as a huge medal contender. He missed out on a gold and silver, but he has ensured that he will be on the podium in Tokyo, wearing a bronze medal around his neck.
The 27 year old wrestler put in a commanding performance against Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov in a one-sided contest 8-0 to clinch a bronze medal in the men’s 65kg freestyle category.

With this, India now have two wrestlers who have won medals in these Games. Ravi Dahiya had won silver before this.
Overall, this medal took India’s total medal count at the Tokyo Olympics to 6 medals, equalling their best ever medal haul in a single edition of the Games (after 2012 London Games). Mirabai Chanu (silver), Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), PV Sindhu (bronze), Indian men’s hockey team (bronze), Ravi Dahiya (silver) and Bajrang Punia (bronze) have won medals for India at the Tokyo Olympics so far.

Bajrang now joins wrestlers like KD Jadhav (bronze in 1952), Sushil Kumar (bronze in 2008 and silver in 2012), Yogeshwar Dutt (bronze in 2012) and Sakshi Malik (bronze in 2016), who have all won Olympic medals in wrestling for India.
Here’s everything you need to know about India’s new Olympic bronze medallist, wrestler Bajrang Punia:
Name: Bajrang Punia
Date of Birth: February 26, 1994
Birth Place: Jhajjar, Haryana
Sport/Event(s): Wrestling (Freestyle – 65kg)
Current World Ranking: 2
Seeding at Tokyo Olympics: 2

Bajrang Punia celebrates with coach Shako Bentinidis after winning the bronze. (Reuters Photo)

Bajrang Punia celebrates with coach Shako Bentinidis after winning the bronze. (Reuters Photo)
Major achievements:
* Bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics
* Silver in 2021 Almaty Asian Championships (65kg)
* Silver in 2020 New Delhi Asian Championships (65kg)
* Gold in 2019 Xi’an Asian Championships (65kg)
* Bronze in 2019 Nur-Sultan World Championships (65kg)
* Gold in 2018 Jakarta Asian Games (65kg)
* Gold in 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (65kg)
* Silver in 2018 Budapest World Championships (65kg)
* Bronze in 2018 Bishkek Asian Championships (65kg)
* Gold in 2017 New Delhi Asian Championships (65kg)
* Silver in 2017 Bydgoszcz World U23 Championships (65kg)
* Gold in 2017 Brakpan Commonwealth Championship (65kg)
* Gold in 2017 Ashgabat Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (70kg)
* Gold in 2016 Singapore Commonwealth Championship (65kg)
* Silver in 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games (61kg)
* Silver in 2014 Incheon Asian Games (61kg)
* Silver in 2014 Astana Asian Championships (61kg)
* Bronze in 2013 Budapest World Championships (60kg)
* Bronze in 2013 New Delhi Asian Championships (60kg)
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia is the only Indian wrestler to have won three World Championship medals (one silver and two bronze).
Bajrang was born in Jhajjar but moved to Delhi as a kid, where he trained under Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt.

Bajrang regained the No. 1 ranking in the 65kg category by defeating Mongolia’s Tulga Tumur Ochir at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament in Rome in March. Going into the Tokyo Games though, he had dropped down one place and was ranked world number 2. He was also given the second seeing at the Games.
The 27 year old booked a Tokyo Olympic quota in September 2019 after winning a bronze medal at the World Championships.
In March this year, Bajrang quit social media so that he was not distracted and could fully concentrate on his Olympic preparations. Back in 2008, Bajrang had mostly stayed away from his mobile phone for almost a decade till 2017 to avoid any kind of distraction.

In August last year, in order to improve his agility, reflexes and feet and body movement on the mat, Bajrang also took boxing lessons under boxing coach Ronald Simms.
Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Bajrang opted to go to Russia with his coach Georgian Shako Bentinidis for mat-training with strong sparring partners.
Bajrang hails from Jhajjar in Haryana and started wrestling at the age of seven. His father was also a wrestler and Bajrang began his wrestling journey at a local mud wrestling school.
In 2015, Bajrang’s family decided to move to Sonepat, so that Bajrang could train at a regional SAI centre.
Bajrang is also a Gazetted Officer, Sports with the Indian Railways. He is married to wrestler Sangeeta Phogat.



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