New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia doesn't need any introduction. By his prowess, he has made India proud in the world of wrestling. Bajrang has been awarded with the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for his achievements. Bajrang Punia, who belongs to Khudan village in Jhajjar district of Haryana, was born on 26 February 1994. He represents India in the 65 kg weight category and is a freestyle wrestler.

Punia started training as a wrestler at the age of seven. Though his family was not well off, his father - a wrestler - encouraged Punia to pursue the sport.

While growing up as a wrestler, Bajrang Punia had two idols -- double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and 2012 bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt. Though Yogeshwar was his mentor, Sushil was the big star of Indian wrestling, and Punia looked up to him for inspiration.

At the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Punia has a chance to emulate his idol Yogeshwar and Sushil, and win a medal for India. Considering his talent, experience and dedication to the sport, Punia is one of the favourites to bag India a medal in Tokyo.

Bajrang Punia's achievements:

Bajrang Punia is the only male wrestler to win gold at the Commonwealth Games (2018) and Asian Games (2018). He has bagged silver and two bronze medals at the World Championships. Apart from this, Bajrang Punia has won the silver medal in the 2014 Asian Games.

He also won a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He has won 7 medals in Asian Championships, which includes Gold Medal in 2017, 2019, Silver Medal in 2021, 2020, 2014 and Bronze in 2013 and 2018. Apart from this, he won gold medals in the Commonwealth Championships in the year 2016 and 2017.

Indian wrestling at the Olympics:

In more than 60 years of participation in Olympic wrestling, India have bagged five medals -- bronze by KD Jadhav in 1952 (Helsinki), bronze and silver by Sushil in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London) and bronze by Sakshi Malik in 2016 (Rio), besides the bronze Yogeshwar won in 2012.

Posted By: Subaashish Dutta