New Delhi: Star wrestler Bajrang Punia said Monday he may seek re-trials in his category close to the World Championships. However, he will only do so if he recovers from his injury. Bajrang Punia also revealed that he had hurt not only his knee, but also pulled his hamstring before the Tokyo Olympics. Bajrang returned with a bronze medal from Tokyo after going all out in the third-fourth place play-off against Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov, taking the mat for that bout without taping his knee.
“Fifteen days after I suffered that knee injury, I had pulled my left hamstring also. However, I did not want to cause a panic, so kept quiet and decided to fight with the injury,” said Bajrang. He not only competed in the men’s freestyle 65kg category, but also revealed a second injury he carried into the Games.
“My rehabilitation process is right on track and it looks like I may gain fitness before the World Championships. If that happens, I will request the federation to allow me to appear in re-trials in my category,” Bajrang informed.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will conduct trials Tuesday for the World Championship.
Bajrang had recently said that he will not compete in the trials because the doctors have advised him six-week rehabilitation. Scans have revealed a ligament tear in his right knee.
Bajrang said he is keen to compete at the World Championships, set to be held in Oslo, Norway, October 2-10. He already has three world medals, including a silver and two bronze. He recently underwent an MRI scan to know the extent of the injury he suffered in Russia in June before the Olympics.
Talking about his injury, Bajrang said the doctors had told him about the risks involved in taking the mat but he had no option but to give his all.
“I had suffered a tear which was between grade 2 and 3. All the doctors said taking the mat would be risky and it may get to a point where I might need surgery but I had to fight,” Bajrang asserted.