Bajrang having won a gold medal at a major international event, the Asian Champions in New Delhi a few days back, the wrestler is eager to keep the juggernaut rolling at the World Wrestling Championship later this year.
Coming back from a long injury lay-off, Punia was the lone Indian wrestler to bag a yellow metal at the championship. “I am an Asian champion now. A gold is a gold, it cannot be compared to any other medal that I had won earlier,” jubilant Punia told media in Delhi. “Gold has its own shine. It’s a big thing. Becoming a champion really matters and I would like to win medals at bigger international competitions.”
With his eyes firmly trained at the World Championship in Paris, Punia said his recent feat had put him in contention for a medal at the world level. “Asia has the likes of Iran and Japan, whose wrestlers are among the best in the world. After becoming an Asian champion, I have got the confidence of doing well at the world level as well,” said the 66-kg wrestler.
“I have already started focussing on the World Championship. The competition would be much tougher but I am ready to work harder and be more aggressive,” the 23-year-old added.
One advice that his mentor, Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, gave him was to attack rather than defend, and he’s following it to the tee. “Yogi bhai always tells me to keep attacking. Whenever I get defensive, it goes against me.”