Freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia will take a week to recover from a knee injury sustained on Friday during the Ali Aliyev wrestling competition in the Russian city of Kaspiysk. “My wrestler (Punia) is okay. Nothing to worry about. But he will be off from mat training for nearly a week. But he will do upper body training as we are in the final phase of preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games," Shako Bentinidis, Punia’s personal coach, told IANS on Saturday. The 27-year-old freestyle wrestler from Haryana has qualified for next month’s Tokyo Olympic Games in men’s 65kg freestyle event.
Based out of Russian city of Vladikavkaz, Punia injured his right knee during a semi-final match against Russia’s Abdulmazhid Kudiev at the annual Ali Aliyev tournament.
Punia was trailing 0-4 when he was injured and expressed his inability to continue to fight.
After hurting his right knee, Punia limped off the mat, but Shako on Friday said that the injury isn’t serious.
“He (Punia) should be fine within a week," said Shako.
Earlier this month, Punia and his coach had gone for a short training stint to Vladikavkaz to prepare for the July 23 to August 8 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The international wrestler had skipped the Poland Ranking Series held in Warsaw from June 8-13 to practice with top Russian wrestlers and prepare for the Olympics.
“Good sparring partners play an important role in polishing skills. Vladikavkaz has good facilities for wrestlers. There are good sparring partners. I had also trained in Russia before the Asian Wrestling Championships," Punia had said before going to Russia.