Wrestling: Punia first Indian to be ranked World No.1
New Delhi: Bajrang Punia, who got a silver medal in last months World Championships at Budapest, is ranked No.1 in the world in his weight category, according to the ranking chart released by the United World Wrestling on Saturday.
Punia who competes in Freestyle 65 kilogram class, thus became the first Indian to be ranked as the top wrestler by the world body which, for the first time, introduced a seeding system in world championships during the Budapest event.
Punia was seeded No. 3, again a first for any Indian wrestler.
“I am happy about the ranking because it reflects India’s overall growth in wrestling. But the real celebration for me will be when I become the Olympic champion,” Punia said in a statement.
The CWG and Asian Games gold medal winner, who lost in the World Championship final in the 65kg to Japanese Takuto Otoguro, leads the chart with 96 points.
The Indian is way ahead of Russia’s Akhmed Chakaev and Takuto, who are ranked second and third respectively. The Russian, who lost to the Japanese in the semi-finals of the World Championships, has 66 points. He has managed to push the Japanese, who has a total of 62 points, to the third spot.
Punia’s ranking is based on his international performance throughout the year which included the gold medals at Gold Coast and Jakarta in 2018.