Indian Olympians Bajrang Punia and Deepak Punia are set to train in Michigan, the U.S.A ahead of the World Wrestling championships scheduled to be held in Belgrade, Serbia, from 10 to 18 September. Bajrang and Deepak had trained in the U.S. before winning gold medals in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and will be accompanied by coach Sujeet Mann and physiotherapist Dr Anand Kumar, who will join them after a few days.
The camp, which has been approved under the Union Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), is set to last for 19 days, with Deepak and Bajrang will then travel to Belgrade for the World Wrestling Championships directly from the U.S.
The two Indian wrestlers will train at Michigan University under head coach Sean Bormet. In the past, coach Bormet has trained Olympics bronze medallist Myles Amine (86kg) and Olympians Stevan Micic (57kg) and Andy Hrovat (84kg), among others.
Like Bajrang and Deepak, earlier this month, TOPS also endorsed Olympic silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dhaiya's training session in Vladikavkaz, Russia, where he is currently training for the World Championships.
Deepak Punia bagged the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad Inam in the 86kg final fight. After missing the medal at Tokyo Olympics, fans were expecting big from Deepak in Birmingham and he didn’t disappoint anyone with his incredible performance.
Whereas, Bajrang Punia won his second Commonwealth Games Gold medal, successfully defending his men's 65kg category as he defeated 21-year-old Lachlan McNeil of Canada. Reacting to his Gold medal, Bajrang talked about how he went back to his aggressive style and shut down all the doubters before the event.
He said, “I have always played aggressive. People said, ‘Olympics ke baad wo Bajrang dikhayi nahi deta’ (we haven't seen the same Bajrang after the Olympics). I was working on that, as a player loses crucial ground because of injury. The 2-3 months of training after recovering from leg injuries has helped me improve. I know how attacking I played or how safe I played and will work on whatever deficiencies are left in my game.”