Deepak Punia Named World's Best Junior Freestyle Wrestler of the Year
Deepak Punia won the Junior Freestyle Wrestler of the Year award from the United World Wrestling.
Deepak Punia (Photo Credit: WFI)
New Delhi: World Championships silver medallist Deepak Punia added yet another feather to his cap after being named the 'Junior Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by United World Wrestling (UWW). Punia's transition from the junior to the senior circuit has been phenomenal as he not only ended an 18-year drought to become the first Indian wrestler to win a junior world title but he also backed it up with a silver medal on his debut at the 2019 Senior World Wrestling Championships.
"I am feeling very happy. It's a great honour for me to be selected among all the wrestlers from the world over. This is really a big source of inspiration for me to keep improving and giving my best," said Punia on the rare honour.
Punia's maturity, resourcefulness and fearless on the big stage made him the only Indian wrestler to make it to the final at Nur-Sultan. An injury prevented him from taking the mat against Hassan Yazdani of Iran in the final but Punia made it a debut to remember by grabbing a highly-coveted Tokyo Olympics berth in 86kg as well.
The sterling display propelled him to the No. 1 position in 86kg in the UWW rankings and the talented teenager is leaving no stone unturned to prepare for the Olympics next year. The 2016 cadet world champion is putting in the hard yards under the watchful eyes of 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medallist and 2003 World Championships silver medallist, Murad Gaidarov brought in by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and Principal Sponsor Tata Motors.
"I have been pretty satisfied with the few days of training we did so far. Gaidarov has been working hard on my weaknesses. We had worked on my ground wrestling and my speed work and I feel I am getting better," explained Punia.
"My confidence level no doubt has been steadily increasing. Now I feel more eager and motivated to give my 100% at the Tokyo Olympics next year and I am really thankful to Tata Motors for taking care of all my needs," he added.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Bigg Boss 13: Fans Love Shehnaz Gill, Rashami Desai Singing Illegal Weapon, Watch Video
- 'Kya Be G***u': Martin Guptill Abusing Chahal on Live Television Leaves Rohit Sharma and Fans in Splits
- Bigg Boss 13 Day 119 Written Updates: Salman Khan Evicts Shefali Jariwala, Sidharth Shukla Wins Elite Membership
- This Compilation of Kobe Bryant and His Daughter Gianna's On-Court Moments Has Left Fans in Tears
- OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T Get OxygenOS 10.3.1 Update With Bug Fixes, December Security Patch