Bajrang Punia’s contests are all the time full of feelings. Thrill, hope, melancholy and pleasure — all in six mins. Expect the grappler to hide deficits, release audacious assaults but additionally give away simple issues. The knee damage Bajrang suffered earlier than the Tokyo Olympics threatened to ordinary his sparkle, however the 28-year-old was once again in his components all through the World Championships in Belgrade the place he gained bronze.
His enthusiasts had been heartened to peer Bajrang go back to his attacking taste when he two times overcame large level deficits in repechage. Against Armenian Vazgen Tevanyan, the 65kg wrestler fell 0-4 at the back of however discovered a solution to win with a 7-6 verdict. In the bronze medal bout towards Sebastian Rivera of Puerto Rico, the Indian trailed 0-6 earlier than last out 11-9 within the nick of time.
Bajrang’s fourth World Championship medal — one silver and 3 bronze — in 9 years underlines his consistency on the easiest stage. However, this one holds particular importance because it got here towards a rising wave of complaint and doubts about his talent to accomplish on the most sensible stage put up damage.
“When you are coming back from an injury, it is the most difficult phase for any athlete. This period was tough for me. I am happy to have won a medal at the World Championships but there is also a bit of disappointment that I could have done better,” Bajrang mentioned.
His marketing campaign in Belgrade didn’t get off to a just right get started. A head conflict in his opening spherical towards Cuban Alejandro Enrique Valdes Tobier left him bleeding. The bout was once stopped and Bajrang needed to be bandaged. Though he controlled to edge previous Valdes 5-4, the damage impacted his efficiency within the quarter-final towards American Yianni Diakomihalis as he misplaced 0-10.
“There were just 15-20 minutes between my first bout and the quarter-final and it went in changing the bandage. The earlier tape was very tight. It bled more. I just didn’t have the time to regroup,” mentioned the two-time Commonwealth Games champion.
After Yianni made the general, Bajrang were given some other likelihood in repechage day after today. “I was attacking even in my first bout but the head injury just threw me off track in the quarters. I trailed in my repechage bouts but I knew I can cover it, the way I have always done. I know how to make a comeback,” he mentioned.
Bajrang’s leg was once simple pickings for the combatants, a space he had to paintings on.
“I have to work on my defence and also some other aspects. But I realised my power, stamina and attacks are still there. I could cover points only because my attack and speed were good. After the Olympics, the knee injury was hampering movement on the mat. In Belgrade, I was moving well and that gave me the confidence to go all out. But I need to train and improve on my leg defence,” mentioned the Olympic bronze medallist.
Bajrang will want a large number of spunk going ahead with the 65kg class throwing new champions. Iran’s 20-year-old Amouzadkhalili was the brand new global champion beating 23-year-old Yianni in an exhilarating last. Bajrang feels he can get up to the brand new technology.
“In this category, it has always been very tough. I would have performed better against Yianni, not saying I would have beaten him, but definitely done far better had it not been for the gash. I played Amouzadkhalili at the Asian meet and it was a close final (1-3). If you compare it to his bouts in Belgrade, nobody had come so close. So, I am not behind them. It is just about who performs well on that particular day,” concluded Bajrang.