20-year-old Deepak Punia climbs to number one spot in latest world rankings
He occupies the top rank in the 86kg category displacing reigning world Champion Iran’s Hassan Yazdani by 4 points.
Deepak Punia, who won the Wrestling world championship silver on debut has climbed to the apex of the world rankings, securing the numero uno spot with a total of 82 points. He occupies the top rank in the 86kg category displacing reigning world Champion Iran’s Hassan Yazdani by 4 points.
Making his maiden appearance at a senior Worlds at the recently concluded World Championship in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Deepak surprised everyone by entering the finals of the big-ticket event. However, due to an ankle injury incurred in the semis bout, Deepak couldn’t take the mat for the finals and had to settle for the silver medal.
Being hailed as India’s future, Deepak Punia earlier this year clinched the Junior world Champion title in Estonia. Making big strides in the men’s circuit after having announced his arrival in style, he made his transition into the senior circuit flamboyantly.
In other achievements this year, Deepak had won a silver Yasar Dogu and bronze medals at Asian Championship and at Sassari tournaments. He has been rewarded for his consistent show.
Bajrang slips to number 2
On the other hand, talismanic Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia had to relinquish his number one spot who finished with a bronze medal in Nur Sultan. The 25-year-old now has 63 points while Russia’s Gadzhimurad Rashidov, who won gold in Nur Sultan, is the new world number one in 65kg. Bajrang, who guaranteed the Tokyo Olympics berth
In 57kg, world bronze medallist Ravi Dahiya has entered the top-five bracket. He is ranked at fifth with 39 points while Rahul Aware’s bronze medal has pushed him to world number two.
Bronze medallist in Kazakhstan, Vinesh Phogat enjoyed a steep rise in the latest women’s rankings. She has jumped to number two in 53kg category, going up four places from 6th after her bronze medal finish at the Worlds. She has also guaranteed an Olympics quota to herself.
In 50kg, Seema Bisla has dropped a rung to number three while Pooja Dhanda (32) is ranked five in 59kg, two places behind compatriot Manju Kumari (40).