One among India’s many bright stars expected to shoulder the medal responsibility at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Bajrang Punia celebrates his 26th birthday on February 26, 2020 (Wednesday). Born in the Khudan village of Jhajjar district of Haryana, Punia is one of the many shining wrestlers to have emerged out of Haryana, yet the brightest of them. He remains the only Indian to have won three World Wrestling Championship medals till date. As Punia, an Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist turns 26, take a look at some interesting facts about the wrestler. Bajrang Punia Workout & Diet Secret: The Ultimate Fitness Regime of Indian Freestyle Wrestler (Watch Videos).
Punia took to wrestling at the age of seven after being inspired by his father. Seeing his dedication and passion towards the sport, the family decided to shift from Jhajjar to Sonepat so that a young Punia can attend practise sessions at the Sports Authority of India. Asian Wrestling Championships: Bajrang Punia Loses Final, Settles for Silver.
He first emerged into limelight after winning bronze medals at the Asian and World Championships in 2013 in 60kg freestyle wrestling. Punia was then training under Yogeshwar Dutt but his connection with Dutt go a long way back when Punia was a training partner for Dutt during the former Indian wrestling legend’s training partner. Take a look at some interesting facts about Bajrang Punia.
- Bajrang Punia was born in the Khudan Village of Jhajjar District in Haryana on February 26, 1994
- Punia Decided on Picking Wrestling as a career option at the age of seven after getting motivated by his father
- Bajrang Punia is the only Indian wrestler to win two or more World Championship medals
- He is the first Indian wrestler to be ranked World No 1 in Wrestling Rankings
- Bajrang Punia Works as a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) with the Indian railways
- Punia is also the first Indian wrestler to compete in the prestigious German League
- Punia trains under four-time Olympian and Indian wrestling legend Yogeshwar Dutt and even shifted to 65kg category from 61kg under the former's instruction
- Bajrang Punia clinched gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games
- Punia is the first Indian to be invited to wrestle at the iconic Madison Square Garden Arena in New York
- The Indian Wrestler was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2015 and the Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards in 2019
He secured qualification for the Tokyo Olympics in the 65kg freestyle category with a bronze medal win at the 2019 Wrestling World Championship event in Kazakhstan. Punia shifted to 65kg in 2015 after being persuaded by trainer Yogeshwar Dutt in order to become eligible for competing in the Olympics. Earlier, Punia had also won silver medals at the Asian and Commonwealth Games in 2014 before upgrading his medals to gold four years later. Punia also won a silver medal at the recently concluded 2019 Asian Wrestling Championship.