Wrestler Bajrang becomes number one in world ranking

Wrestler Bajrang becomes number one in world ranking

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New Delhi, Nov 11:

Star  Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday touched a new high in his  career by achieving the number one rank in the world in the 65kg  category.

The 24-year-old  Bajrang, who has won five medals this season,  including CWG and Asian Games gold and a silver at the World  Championship, was placed atop the ranking table with 96 points in the  UWW list.

It has turned out to be a remarkable season for Bajrang, who was  also the only Indian grappler to be given a seeding at the Budapest  World Championship.

“Every athlete nurtures the dream to be world number one in his  career. But If I had become number one with a World Championship gold,  it would have been better,” Bajrang told PTI.

“But I am working hard and will try to retain this world number rank with a World Championship gold next year,” he added.

Bajrang is comfortably leading the table and Cuban Alejandro  Enrique Vlades Tobier is a distant second with 66 points. Bajrang had  won a close semifinal against Tobier in the Budapest Worlds.

Russia’s Akhmed Chakaev (62) is in third place and the new world  champion Takuto Otoguro (56) is at number four, followed by Turkey’s  Selahattin Kilicsallayan (50).

Interestingly, Bajrang is the lone male Indian to figure in top-10  but the country has five female wrestlers who are in top-10 bracket in  their respective categories.

Pooja Dhanda, who became only the fourth Indian woman to win a  World Championship medal, is now ranked sixth in the women’s 57kg with  52 points. She had taken a bronze.

Ritu Phogat completes the top-10 in the women’s 50kg, with 33 points.

Sarita Mor is ranked seventh in 59kg with 29 points while Navjot  Kaur (32) and Kiran (37) are ninth in 68kg and 76kg category  respectively.

Prem Trinitymirror

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