Punia from Wrestling-India doesn’t want drama in early Tokyo laps

An Olympic Rings monument is pictured in the waterfront of Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan on April 2, 2021. Photo taken on April 2, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo

NEW DELHI, July 18 (Reuters) – India’s Bajrang Punia is determined to avoid back-to-back wins in his first bout which could leave him exhausted even before reaching medals at the Tokyo Olympics, the wrestler said. free.

The 27-year-old is the second seed in the men’s 65kg category in Tokyo, the one on whose shoulders India’s hopes of winning the wrestling country’s first Olympic gold medal rest.

“I want to come back with a medal. I try not to give points earlier,” Punia told the Times of India newspaper on Sunday.

“The coach (Emzarios Bentinidis) keeps telling me that a victory from behind takes a lot of effort and if I keep doing it I will be exhausted when I reach the medal round.”

Russian world champion Gadzhimurad is the seed of a strong squad which Punia said included 10 to 12 wrestlers who could fight “in their day”.

A gold medalist at the Asian and Commonwealth Games, Punia’s leg defense is seen as possibly his only weakness, but the Haryana wrestler hasn’t been too fazed.

“Focusing only on defense of the legs is not the solution,” he said.

“When the opponent starts to tire and fatigue sets in, that’s when I jump on it, attack and accumulate points.

“My style is more about working hard for my win. I’m not able to play the technical game like other 65kg wrestlers do.

“My strong point is power and stamina. It helps me get back (in a fight).”

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; edited by Kim Coghill

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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