The mammoth in the wrestling field, Bajrang Punia has reserved his seat in the next year’s Tokyo Olympics in the 65Kg category. Missing on the last ranking, series tournament wouldn’t make a big difference if we went by the latest world standings.
The renewed set of rankings announced by the Wrestling’s world governing body UWW placed Bajrang on the second rank in the 65kg category.
The other renowned name, Ravi Dahiya also seems set for a top-four billing at the mega event which will be held from July 23 to August 8 next year. He stands the fourth position in the very viable 57kg category.
Apart from the Indian wrestling stars, Russian star Gadhzimurad Rashidov leads the 65kg rankings. Four points separate Rashidov(60), Punia (59) and Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov(56) for the top seeding.The supremely talented Russian and Indian wrestlers own such commanding moves on the field that they have no worry to achieve the top-four seeding at the Olympic games.
In the battle to reach the top spot, Russian Rashidov claimed the top berth after he achieved his long-awaited world gold in the Nur Sultan last season. Whereas our Indian star, Punia commenced the year with appearing on the third rank collecting 25 points after his world bronze medal. He has overthrown world finalist Niyazbekov for the number two ranking.
Punia went on to complement 16 points to his world championship total after he removed a three-point deficit against Jordan Oliver USA to win the 16 point Matteo Pellicone Ranking series gold medal.His fall in the Asian Finals against 2018 World Champion Rakuto Otoguro(JPN), Punia gathered 18 points and pushed himself to within one point of the Russian Defending World Champion.
The top four in each category will be seeded at the Tokyo Games which is postponed till 2021 due to the current scenarios of the COVID-19.