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Thursday, December 2, 2021

“We’ll Target 20-25 Medals In Paris”: Wrestler Bajrang Punia Tells NDTV After Record Haul In Tokyo Olympics

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India registered its best-ever medal haul at the Olympic Games with seven medals in Tokyo. India won a gold, two silver and four bronze medals, with Neeraj Chopra rounding off the Tokyo Olympics in grand fashion with a historic throw of 87.58m in the men’s javelin final on Saturday. Even after bettering the previous best medal haul of six which was achieved in London in 2012, bronze medal-winning wrestler Bajrang Punia, in an exclusive chat with NDTV, said the athletes had hoped for more medals in Tokyo but will try and push for 20-25 medals in Paris Olympics, slated to be held  in 2024. 

“Many players were featuring in the Olympics for the first time. We won seven medals, we had planned for more but managed to better previous Olympics’ results. We will try to do even better in Paris and push for 20-25 medals in the next Olympics,” Bajrang told NDTV. 

On Saturday, Bajrang defeated Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0 in the bronze medal bout to become the sixth Indian to win a wrestling medal in Olympic history. 

Bajrang was nursing a knee injury that prevented him from going all out on the first day of his bouts. The 27-year-old had picked up an injury weeks before the Tokyo Games during his training stint in Russia. 

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“During my bouts on Friday, the injury was playing on the back of my mind. I was unable to make the movements; tried to attack but was also worried about my knee,” Bajrang said. 

Bajrang said he will visit a doctor to understand the amount of rest he would need to get back to full fitness.

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