Asian Games 2018 | Bajrang Punia refers Asiad gold as his biggest achievement

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Asian Games 2018 | Bajrang Punia refers Asiad gold as his biggest achievement

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SportsCafe Desk


After winning the first gold medal for India in the ongoing Asian games, wrestler Bajrang Punia has termed this as the biggest medal of his career. He has also stated that winning a gold medal at the Asiad will help him put up a great show at the Tokyo Olympics to be played in 2020.

Punia showed great character in both the final and semi-final game on the first day of the competition and brought glory for the nation in the 65kg freestyle wrestling as he thrashed Japan’s Takatani Daichi in the gold medal bout. The 24-year-old showed great courage to beat the Japanese who earlier had defeated him in the Asian Championship.

“This is my biggest gold medal, if you win here then you are a contender at the Tokyo Olympics. I have an eye at Tokyo Games and preparing for that. I will try to produce same performance at the World Championship also,” Bajrang said after clinching the medal on Sunday.

Punia further went on to add, “There are very few gold for Indian wrestlers in Asiad. So it is a big achievement for me. Only Yogeshwar and Rajinder Singh have won two gold medals in a year (CWG and Asiad), I am only the third to do it, so naturally I am feeling proud of myself.”

The Haryana wrestler credited his coach Shako Bentinidis for being influential in bringing major changes in his wrestling technique which helped him during the Asian game bouts. He also talked about his conversation with champion wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt before participating in the games.

“Yogi bhai (Yogeshwar) told me, ‘I did it in 2014, you have to do it in 2018’. When he won, it was huge gap in his and the previous Asiad medal. I wanted to continue with the medal trend. There is lot of change in my wrestling in the last five months. I have won four gold after I started training with new coach. Every aspect of my game has changed, power, technique, speed,” Punia informed.

When asked about his celebrations after winning the gold in Indonesia, Punia replied that he doesn’t have much time to celebrate.

“People will keep talking about some or other things. I don’t bother who is saying what. I am the same but the thought process has changed after winning medals. I will not stop enjoying just because others don’t like it. I will start preparing for the World Championship after going back.”

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