Bajrang Punia, a 23-year-old, lithely built lad from Khudan village in Jhajjar, Haryana, has made his country proud by winning a silver in the 65 kg category at the World U-23 Senior Wrestling Championship, which was held in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The cheer doubled for India as another Haryana wrestler, Vinod Omprakash, who hails from Jind, also bagged silver (in 70kg freestyle category) on the same day.
With Ritu Phogat winning the silver in the women's 48kg weight class on Saturday. History was created as India returned with three silvers from a world championship for the first time
After sailing through the quarters, it was a tough semi-final match for Punia where he was pitted against junior world championship bronze medallist Younes Emamichoghaei of Iran. Emam had taken an early 2-0 lead, but Punia bounced back and was soon tied at 4-4. He played a counterattacking game in the final few minutes that resulted in a thumping 9-4 victory for Punia.
Omprakash defeated USA's Richard Lewis 1-3 to win the second silver for India.
Punia is training under Dronacharya awardee Ramphal Maan who stressed the importance of a wholesome diet for wrestlers. He felt that Punia could have won a medal earlier this year at the senior Worlds in Paris had the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) facilitated proper food for the wrestlers.He added, for a wrestler, his diet is of utmost importance.Mann disclosed that this time, he had arranged for packed homemade food for the wrestler.