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Sushil Kumar Still The Best Wrestler In India, Says Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medallist Bajrang Punia


Sushil Kumar is a two-time Olympic medalist in wrestling.© AFP

Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Puniaon Friday said he considered jailed wrestler Sushil Kumar is still the best in the business as he “enlivened” the grappling sport by ending a 56-year wait for a wrestling medal in Olympics. Punia was speaking during a felicitation ceremony and a motivation session organized in his honor by the Delhi Metro security unit of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). “I do not consider anyone a better wrestler than Sushil Kumar in India…he enlivened wrestling after winning an Olympic medal in 2008 and that came after after 56 years,” Punia said.

Punia was also asked to comment on the recent murder case involving Sushil but he said he will be giving opinion only about his sporting career.

Sushil was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the alleged murder of a former junior national wrestling champion at the Chhatrasal stadium in Delhi.

During the interaction with the jawans, Punia acknowledged that probably he was not in the best of his form during the recent Tokyo Olympics bout as he had suffered injury. However, he managed to secure bronze.

“I gave my best (in the Tokyo Olympics). 2024 (Olympics) is just round the corner. I will try to change the color of my medal. I believe that you should always think positive. There is nothing in life that cannot be done. You need to work hard,” Punia added.

The wrestler was asked by a personnel on what could be done to better India’s prospects at the global sporting meets.

“It all begins with the parents…they will have to encourage their children. They are the first guru and coach. If they do not encourage their children to play sports then it cannot be done (doing better in sports and athletics and winning) medals),” he said.

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Talking about what more can be done to improve sports in the country, Punia said that it should be ensured that “good facilities and good diet” provided to sportspersons.

Punia also met a few CISF wrestlers with whom he had previously trained at the Chhatrasal stadium. Table tennis player Manika Batra was also felicitated during the event.

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