Bajrang Punia, India’s only multiple World Championships medallist in wrestling, knows he belongs to the elite level and will be a medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics. But he is also aware of the stiff competition he is likely to face in the men’s 65kg freestyle weight category — the “most competitive category in the world,” in his own words.

“There are at least 12-13 wrestlers who can beat anyone. In other categories, you will find three-four medal contenders. In 65kg, 12-13 are medal contenders, and who performs well and has better luck will get a medal,” says the 27-year-old.

Overcoming roadblocks posed by the pandemic, the 27-year-old acknowledges the criticality of time and public expectations as far as winning a medal is concerned.

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Looking forward to making his Olympic debut, Punia found time to…

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