Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has had a terrific 2018. Apart from becoming the world’s top-ranked freestyle wrestler in the 65 kg category, the 24-year dominated some of the top competitions that were held in 2018, and the next thing on his mind is a medal in the Olympics.
Speaking from Georgia where he is currently training, Punia said that like every other player, it is his dream to win a medal for his country in the Olympic Games, and he is working hard to achieve the same.
“It is my dream to win an Olympic medal for my country. If I look back at the kind of performances I have given throughout the year, I get this sense of confidence that my preparations are going well and I am on a right track. I would like to continue my good run in terms of performance till 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Punia said.
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Revealing more about his plans for the Tokyo Olympics, the Asian Games gold-medallist said that he is currently focused on performing well in the 2019 Wrestling World Championship which is also a qualifying event for the Olympic Games.
“Being a world number one player is a good thing but one should always remember that ups and downs are part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life. On one day, you are number one and on other days you are ranked lower. I, however, would like to maintain my top rank as the 2019 World Championship is a qualifying tournament for the Olympics and my number one rank could help me get the top seeding for the quadrennial event,” he said.
While admitting that the year 2018 has been really good for him in terms of performances, he thanked all those who were a part of his journey.
“This year has been really good for me. I got the full support and love of my countrymen and I hope the same will continue to happen in the coming year, as well. I would like to give credit of my success to wrestling federation, my teammate, fellow players, SAI (Sports Authority of India), TOPS (Target Olympic Scheme) and my sponsors,” he said.
Punia had finished on top of the podium in both the major events of 2018 that is Jakarta Asian Games and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. In the 2018 World Championship, the wrestler had to settle for a silver medal after being stunned by Japanese teenager Takuto Otoguro in the finals.
First Published: Dec 21, 2018 17:43 IST