Bajrang Punia begins training in Moscow ahead of busy 2022 wrestling season

Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Bajrang Punia will be defending his titles at the Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2022.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by SAI

Olympics bronze medal-winning Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia reached Moscow, Russia on Monday for a 26-day pre-season training camp scheduled till January 21.

This will be Bajrang Punia’s first training camp since Tokyo 2020. After clinching the bronze at this year’s Summer Games, the Indian wrestler had been sidelined with an injury. He missed the world championships in Oslo due to his rehabilitation.

Bajrang Punia is looking ahead to a busy 2022 season. He is set to compete in the United World Wrestling ranking events in Italy and Turkey in February, followed by the Asian Championships in Mongolia in April.

The latter half of the year will see the 27-year-old freestyle wrestler from Haryana defend his men’s 65kg category titles at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in July-August, and the Asian Games 2022 in September.

Bajrang Punia, India’s most-medalled wrestler at world championships (2 bronze and 1 silver), hopes to benefit from training with experienced Russian wrestlers.

“I’ve chosen Russia as its wrestlers win the most medals at the Olympics and world championships,” Bajrang Punia said.

Bajrang Punia will be accompanied by his long-time sparring partner and wrestler Jitender – a two-time Commonwealth wrestling champion and Asian championships silver medalist. Physiotherapist Anand Kumar is also with the duo.

Bajrang Punia also said his ultimate target is to better his Tokyo performance at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“I’m going to give my best as my aim is to change the colour of my medal in Paris 2024,” Bajrang Punia said.

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