Bajrang Punia happy to have won CWG 2022 gold playing his ‘natural, attacking game’ | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

NEW DELHI: “Injury, ‘recovery’, ‘gold medal’. These three words were often heard when the floor was given to Bajrang Punia’s questions. A day earlier, Bajrang had successfully defended his gold medal. gold in wrestling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG).
He looked visibly tired. “Abhi so ke utha hu,” he answered when asked if he was celebrating. It was almost like hearing someone finish a routine shift and catch up on some much needed sleep.
Bajrang conceded just two points en route to her second Commonwealth Games in the 65kg category. But if someone mentioned the word “easy” to him, his response was quite simple. “No one comes to the Commonwealth Games to lose.”

Bajrang

The Tokyo Olympics The bronze medalist made a very interesting comparison between his two CWG gold medals. “In 2018 I didn’t have an Olympic medal, but I came here after winning an Olympic medal.”
This suggests that, perhaps somewhere down the line, reputation was on the line. And Indian grapplers fought like that on the opening day of the wrestling event in Birmingham, with all six winning medals, including three gold medals won by Bajrang, Deepak Punished and Sakshi Malik.
Excerpts from a press conference that TimesofIndia.com was invited to:
Your first reaction…
It feels good to redo 2018. The weak points after the Olympics that were there, I improved them on that.

Is aggressive wrestler Bajrang finally back?
I have always played aggressive. People were saying, “Olympics ke baad wo Bajrang dikhayi nahi deta (we haven’t seen the same Bajrang after the Olympics). I was working on that because a player loses crucial ground due to injury. The 2-3 months of training after recovering from leg injuries has helped me improve. I know how well I have played offensively or safely and will work on any remaining gaps in my game. .

Was there pressure?
There was no pressure. I just wanted to emulate my training in the competition. I have now played a lot of tournaments. I don’t take the pressure whether it’s a big Games or a championship. I just focus on giving my best.
How is this CWG gold medal different from the one you won in 2018 on the Gold Coast?
In 2018, when I won gold, I didn’t have an Olympic medal. This (in Birmingham) was new. I won an Olympic medal (in Tokyo), then I fought because of an injury. Both therefore have their own importance. And keeping the World’s Championships in mind, we knew we had to perform well.

What would you say to those who think competition is relatively easy at CWG?
If someone says the fights were easy, I disagree with that. In wrestling, we have to fight with the power of the opponent. No one comes to lose, only to win, regardless of the medal. We don’t know the opponent in advance, how he will fight or if he is well prepared. It’s all decided on this mat.

What is the next step ?
In September, there are the World Championships, then there is the Paris Olympics in 2024. But I am focused on the World Championships at the moment, even if the big objective is the Olympics. As you have to take the stairs to go to the terrace, you have to take one tournament at a time. And what I couldn’t do in Tokyo (win gold), I want to do in Paris.

Are you personally satisfied with your performance?
There are a lot of differences from before. I played on offense, I played my natural wrestling style and I was successful. So I will try to enter the World Championships with the same form and win a medal there as well.

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