Working on going back to where I was in 2018: Bajrang Punia after CWG win

Ace Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia© AFP

Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia said he is working on getting back to his best attack after defending his Commonwealth Games title in the 65kg category here on Friday. Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang defeated Canada’s Lachlan McNeil 9-2 in the final. “The fight was good, the opponent was tough too. I had an injury (knee) during the Olympics. The plan was to slowly come back to my old self. I would sit with the coaches and work on the weakness that I’m building up World Championships is my next target,” Bajrang said.

On trying to attack more than he has in recent days, the 28-year-old said: “After the injury I said you will get to see 2018’s Bajrang and I am working on that.” His Canadian rival McNeil was all praise for Bajrang.

“When it comes to conditioning, he is the best in the world. I prepare specially for him but he was better that day. He has shown me areas I still need to work on. However I’m happy with the silver. It’s been a long time coming,” McNeil said.

On his Commonwealth Games debut, young wrestler Anshu Malik had to settle for a silver medal after a crushing loss to Nigeria’s Odunayo Folasade, who defended his 57kg title.

Anshu, who turned 21 on Friday, was in tears after losing the last bout.

“I gave my all on the mat. My elbow injury before coming here meant I couldn’t work enough on my upper body strength. Had I got another month, the outcome would have been different. ” Anshu did not attack much in the first round, giving the Nigerian a 4-0 lead.

“Maybe I could have attacked more in the first round than I did in the second round,” said the 2021 World Championships silver medalist.

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“In the last few minutes I went for an all out approach. I lost to him in Italy in 2020 too, but it was very close this time. I came here to sleep but I gave it all on the mat.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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