Bajrang Punia undergoes MRI scan after Tokyo 2020 return

The 65kg category wrestler had clinched a bronze medal at his maiden Olympic appearance in Tokyo 2020.

By Olympic Channel Writer

Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Bajrang Punia underwent an MRI scan after his return to India from the Olympic Games. The reports of the scan, due to arrive on Wednesday, will determine his further plans.

"I don't have any problem in walking but the pain is there. The MRI scan was done today (Tuesday) and I am awaiting the report," the 27-year-old told The New Indian Express.

The 65kg category wrestler had injured his right knee in the semifinals of Ali Aliyev tournament in Russia in June this year. It had forced him to stay away from mat training ahead of Tokyo 2020 for nearly 25 days.

Furthermore, Punia battled through pain at Tokyo 2020 to clinch a podium spot. He had put on a strapping on his leg during the initial bouts to ensure that the injury doesn't aggravate.

Takuto Otoguro, Haji Aliyev, Gadzhimurad Rashidov and Bajrang Punia with their Tokyo 2020 medals

Punia, however, had decided to enter the bronze medal bout without the strapping in order to grapple more freely and he succeeded in his pursuit. He overpowered Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0 in the contest. 

His next appearance at the World Championships scheduled in Oslo, Norway from October 2 to 10 will depend on the MRI reports as he is not willing to risk an injury in case he isn't fully fit. 

"The participation (in worlds) depends on the report," Punia said. 

The selection trials for the marquee event will be held at the IG Stadium in New Delhi on August 31. Trials will be held for freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's wrestling and medal winners from the 2020 Senior National Championship will be eligible for it.