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Wrestler Bajrang Punia climbs to World No 1. in latest rankings

Wrestler Bajrang Punia climbs to World No 1. in latest rankings

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Published: 10 Nov 2018 5:50 AM GMT
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has been on a roll lately and even came close to bagging a historic Gold at the Wrestling World Championships before he fought it out for a silver. Now, the youngster in the 65kg category has added a new feather to his cap- a World No 1 ranking. In the latest rankings released by United World Wrestling, the parent body of the sport globally, Bajrang is listed at the top of the 65kg rankings with 96 points, a huge 30-point lead over the next ranked wrestler Alejandro Enrique Vlades Tobier of Cuba. It is worth noting that Bajrang had already faced and defeated VladesTobier in the semifinals of the Budapest World Championships last month. The 30-point difference is a clear testament to how far the Indian has come as a wrestler in this weight category and how he is miles above his competitors. As we go down the list, we find the defending World Champion in this weight category, Japan's Takuto Otoguro who is perched at fourth place with 56 points. The 19-year old Otoguro, however, recently became the youngest ever Japanese wrestler to win a Senior World Championship title. He has only just started competing in the senior category and has already won his first major medal. He will be worthy contender for Bajrang to watch out for in future. With Tokyo 2020 in mind, Bajrang has been touted by many as a Gold medal hope for India- a country that in all its history of participating in the multi sport tourney has only one individual Gold. So far, India have five Olympic wrestling medals, a silver and four bronze medals. This World No 1 ranking for Bajrang will definitely be a boost in his Olympic plans. The Asian Wrestling Championships are set to take place in April next year and will be a major tournament for him.
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