Bajrang Punia stopped short of going to the court after not being recommended for the Khel Ratna award following advice by his mentor Yogeshwar Dutt. Sensing the futility of the exercise, he has now decided to move on and focus on his preparations for the upcoming World Wrestling Championship.
Despite winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, where he was only one of two wrestlers to win the gold, Punia was overlooked for the Khel Ratna - the highest sports award. The committee had decided to go with Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, overlooking the wrestler. After criticizing the selection criteria, Punia had threatened to move to court. However, after the initial overreaction, the wrestler has decided against filing a case citing the influence of Yogeshwar Dutt in the decision.
“I have decided not to approach the court. My mentor and coach Yogeshwar Dutt and family members have advised me to train hard and win a medal in Budapest, that’s only possible with good training” said the Asian Games Gold medallist, reported HT.
The World Wrestling Championship is scheduled to be held at Budapest in October from 20th to 28th. After a gold medal winning performance at the Gold Coast Games and the Asian games, Indian fans are expecting to continue his good form in Budapest as well. However, before travelling to the World Championships, Punia, along with his coach Shako Bentindis, will undergo a preparation tour next week in Belarus.
“Good training is only beneficial if the athlete is mentally not distracted, Bajrang is capable of winning a medal in Budapest provided he stays focused,” Bentindis added.
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