Star wrestler Bajrang Punia is baffled by the on-spot doctors’ decision to use ‘hard tape’ on his bleeding head, which garnered his attention ahead of his quarter-final bout against USA’s John Michael Diakomihalis during the World Championships. was substantially interrupted. Bajrang, who is fighting for his maiden world title, suffered a head injury in his opening match against Cuba’s Alejandro Enrique Vlades Tobier in the first minute of the clash in Belgrade.
The on-spot doctor reached onto the mat and applied ‘rigid tape’, which is actually used to immobilize the knee and ankle. Most tennis players and basketball players use that tape.
“God know why did they do this? It caused irritation because my hair got stuck on my head. They didn’t even apply cotton to the wound and tape it straight. I had to cut my hair from a certain spot to get rid of it. I had to. It took about 20 minutes to remove it.”
“Instead of devising a strategy against the American, my team and I struggled to get that tape out of my head. I had about 20-25 minutes before clashing with the American and all that time was lost. was,” 28-year-old Rudd.
Dr. Anand Dubey, who is attached to Bajrang as his personal physio, said that ideally the doctors should have used an adhesive tape.
Dubey explained, “Hard tape can actually cause inflammation of the scalp because even a light touch can cause irritation and pull hair. You know how wrestlers put their hands on an opponent’s head. So We decided to remove it and put on an adhesive tape.”
“Cohesive tape is flexible. Once it comes into contact with any part of the body during an attacking move, it will automatically return to its original shape, not causing irritation or pulling hairs,” he said. .
Bajrang crashed out of the gold medal race after losing to the American by technical superiority. He later won the bronze medal through the repechage round.
Bajrang, the only Indian wrestler to have won four world medals, said losing to Dicomihalis by technical superiority was not something he expected.
“I lost 10-9 to this guy in 2019. I’m not saying I would have beaten him easily, but I was expecting at least a close fight. First, a head injury and then This taping issue really hurt my chances,” he said.
Bajrang’s team decided not to use stitches, preferring to keep the wound open.
Bajrang’s personal coach Sujit Mann explained the reason, saying, “If you get a blow in one spot then the stitches can open in the middle of a match. There is always that mental block that can open again, So we didn’t want Bajrang to worry about him.” Bajrang defeated Vajen Tevanyan of Armenia 7-6 in the repechage round to beat Puerto Rico’s Sebastian C Rivera 11-9 in the bronze play-off.
However, Bajrang lost a lot of points. All his bouts were close and he was actually trailing before overtaking his rivals. Against the Armenians, they took a 0–4 lead and were 0–6 at one stage in the bronze match.
The opponents were easily grabbing his right leg. In particular, the Armenian attacked at will on his right foot.
This is certainly a matter of concern for his coach.
“There are certain areas where Bajrang needs to work and leg defense is one of them. I have no complaints about his endurance, speed and attack. But you can give your leg up so easily.
“Having said that, the competition in the world and in the Olympics is almost the same. It is tough in 65kg. You must have noticed that Haji Alive (Azerbaijan) is an Olympic medalist, but returned empty-handed from Belgrade.
“Similarly, Hungary didn’t have an Olympic medal in Tokyo, but got a bronze at the Worlds. But I still think Bajrang should have played the final considering the hard work he had to put in,” Mann said.
Bajrang himself seemed satisfied with his performance.
“When you attack, you are bound to give some points. If I have lost points, I have scored more than what I have lost. You can be defensive and not give points but I am the attacker. wanted to play the game.
“I realize that my pace and pace have improved and my attacking has also improved. I could have played the final and that was the goal,” he said.
The season is almost over for Bajrang, who is expected to participate in the World Cup in December.
Bajrang has already started training, however mat training will not start until his head cut has completely healed.
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