The Story of Indian freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia

The Story of Indian freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia

The avid Bollywood lovers in India would have noticed the recent trend of making biopics. Biopics have been made on a number of personalities, but the most successful ones, both critically and commercially, have been those revolving around inspiring sportsmen or sportswomen. From Paan Singh Tomar to Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to Dangal and to the recent Gold, these real-life stories are charged with an unforeseen zeal which makes the audience stick to their seats. In a country that loves sports and wholeheartedly celebrates the success of its players, the Asian Games are always a chance to create more rags to riches story.

This year, Haryana based wrestler Bajrang Punia has opened India’s account with bagging the country’s first gold medal. He won the gold medal in the men’s freestyle 65-kg category. Born to Balwaan Punia, who was himself a wrestler, Bajrang had a good starting point for his career at his home itself. However, due to financial constraints, his father couldn’t achieve any major success himself. He had to focus on his family. But, he decided that his son will not face the same problems. Bajrang started wrestling since he was seven. Even at that time, the family’s financial condition was very poor. To save money, Balwaan Punia used to travel by cycle instead of rickshaws or bus. He spent the saved money on providing the proper diet for his son. Just to make sure that ghee and milk are consumed in the required quantities by Bajrang, his parents made a lot of sacrifices. In 2015, his family shifted to Sonepat so that he can attend regional center of Sports Authority of India. Another important relationship in Bajrang’s life was with his mentor, Yogeshwar Dutt. Bajrang generally shied away from participating in 65 kg freestyle because Dutt participated in the same competition. However, as Dutt came closer to retirement, it became imminent that Bajrang would be his successor. Yogi Bhai (Yogeshwar) was one of the best in the world. Now, he has moved aside for me and it’s my responsibility to do well in 65kg,” he said in an interview with Indian Express.

Before the Rio Olympics, Bajrang didn’t even think of preparing for the competitions because Dutt was going to take part in it. In fact, he worked hard on making sure that Dutt’s preparations are on point. Now, when Bajrang has finally entered the ring, Dutt is taking total care of his training. He even got wrestlers from their akhada when the national campers refused to train with Bajrang. Apart from this, Dutt also arranged Russian and English teachers as he thinks that it is important to understand the opponent’s language. The 24-year-old Haryanvi wrestler defeated Japanese Takatani Daichi 11-8 in the final. It also is Bajrang’s second consecutive gold at the Asian Games. Last time, he won in the 61-kg category. The win is even more special because Daichi had actually beaten Bajrang in the Asian Championship. The final was extremely thrilling and neck-to-neck. Bajrang initially took a 6-0 lead, but Daichi made a great comeback to equalize at 6-6. Ultimately, it was a well-deserved gold for Bajrang and for India. Bajrang believes that he still has a very long way to go. He is in no mood to celebrate, he will go back home and immediately start preparing for the World Championship in 2020. The tournament will bring Bajrang and Daichi back for the 3rd time.KenFolios is extremely proud of Bajrang Punia. He has shown great determination to become the country’s greatest grappler currently. We hope he goes on to win many more medals and inspire young lives.

(Text Source: kenfolios)

Tags:  Bajrang Punia |  Asian Games 2018 |  Wrestling  | 65kgs  | Bajrang Punia Gold Medals | Bajrang Punia Ranking | Padma Shri |  Arjuna Award for Wrestling