Bajrang Punia enjoys distinction of being the first Indian to be seeded at the World Championships


Indian grappler Bajrang Punia has been seeded third for the forthcoming World Championships to be held from October 20 to October 28 in Budapest, Hungary.

The Haryana lad had 45 points in the ranking list compiled by the United World Wrestling(UWW) in the 65kg Freestyle event. Turkey’s Selahattin Kilicsallayan is seeded first with 50 points whereas Russia’s Ilias Bekbulatov and Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev are seeded second and fourth respectively.

Bajrang Punia becomes the first Indian to be seeded at the World Championships
Bajrang Punia becomes the first Indian to be seeded at the World Championships

India will be sending a 30-member contingent for the aforementioned tournament, but only Bajrang got the distinction of being seeded. In the past, wrestlers were drawn randomly via lots, ignoring the idea of seeding, which led to a lot of strong competitors being eliminated in the preliminary round itself.

However, the parent body held various tournaments like the Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia and Yasar Dogu International tournament in Istanbul in the recent past to rank the competitors and seed them accordingly. The 24-year-old had emerged as the champion in both the events, but fumbled in other ranking tournaments and had to settle for a third place.

Bajrang began the year by coming third at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan but clinched gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and Asian Games in Jakarta. He had bagged the bronze medal at the 2013 version of the World Wrestling Championships when he was just 19 at the 60kg event and finished fifth in the 61 kg category at the 2015 version of the aforesaid tournament.

Unlike the other team members who will be coming at the venue in Wednesday, Bajrang has already begun his training at the Mátraháza Olympic Training Center for the past two weeks.

The Sportsindiashow team wishes Bajrang Punia and the rest of the Indian contingent all the best for the upcoming World Championships, and hope that they bring glory to the nation.