Tokyo Olympics: Bajrang Punia begins training in Russia, sweats out on mat with world champion David Baev

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Bajrang Punia. © Twitter

Tokyo Olympics: India’s ace wrestler Bajrang Punia begin his final phase of preparations for the Tokyo Olympics in Russia. The 2019 world medalist had shared pictures of his sparring session with world champion David Baev on Twitter. “I have started my training in Russia with David Baev, the 2019 world champion in 70kg. There are good sparring partners in Vladikavkaz,” the 27-year-old wrestler captioned.

Bajrang Punia in a month’s time will step on the mat in men’s 65kg freestyle for his maiden Olympics. He will train in Vladikavkaz for nearly five weeks before travelling directly to Japan. His Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis is also with him in Russia.

Tokyo Olympics: Since Bajrang Punia’s sparring partner and best friend, Jitender Kumar, is recovering from knee surgery, he decided to invite five wrestlers from several countries to India. However, due to the pandemic, the plan could not turn into a reality.

Instead of competing in the Poland Ranking Series held in Warsaw from June 8 to 13, the Haryana wrestler opted to train and spar with top Russian wrestlers to prepare for the Olympics. He is planning to compete in Ali Aliev tournament in June end.

Good sparring partners play an important role in polishing skills. Vladikavkaz has good facilities for wrestlers. I had trained in Russia before the Asian Wrestling Championships too,” Punia had said during an online media interaction last month.