Another flag in the hat of Bajrang Punia, who was neglected for Khel Ratna Award by the Government. He wins the Silver medal in the 65 kg category in the World Wrestling Championship at Budapest. He lost to Japanese teenager, Takuto Otoguro in the finals.
Bajrang Punia was on the verge of becoming the second wrestler from India, after Sushil Kumar, to win a gold medal in the World Wrestling Championship ever. He entered the final by the winning a very close bout against Alejandro Valdes Tobier of Cuba 4-3. In the closely contested match in the final, he lost by 16-9. Thus, shattering the dream of the wrestler.
Bajrang Punia has been to Budapest before. Back when he was still 19 and new to the international arena, the wrestler was at his first senior world championship in 2013 in the city. Punia won the Bronze Medal in that Championship.
In the last five years since that bronze, Bajrang also has a Under-23 world championship silver medal in 65 kg and is a two-time medallist at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. In 2017, he became the Asian champion as well.
Despite all these achievements, he was ignored by the Government for Khel Ratna Award. He, along with Viignesh Phogat, scored 80 points, the highest among all the nominees. But still, they were not awarded with the highest sports award in India. In spite of all such distractions, he was determined to win the medal and he won.