Bajrang Punia takes COVID-19 vaccine shot

The wrestler recently won gold at the Matteo Pellicone event in Rome, where he showed improvement on his leg defence.

India wrestler Bajrang Punia received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at teh SAI camp in Sonepat.   -  Wrestling TV

Tokyo Olympics-bound wrestler Bajrang Punia on Thursday received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine after rejoining the national camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat.

The elite 65kg wrestler recently won gold at the Matteo Pellicone event in Rome, where he showed improvement on his leg defence.

"I followed the procedure which has been laid out for common man. I had registered for it. I am feeling ok, there was slight headache and heaviness after I took shot but I am perfectly alright now," Bajrang told PTI.

The 27-year-old also expressed shock at the tragic death of his sister-in-law wrestler Ritika Phogat, the maternal sister of Geeta and Babita Phogat.

Bajrang is married to Sangeeta Phogat, paternal cousin of Babita and Geeta.

"I am surprised how such a young girl decides to take such a drastic step. She comes from the wrestlers' family. It's not that there were no people to keep her motivated. She was surrounded by right people.

"I don't get it. It's really sad for the family. Defeat is part of wresting. How can someone take his life like this," Bajrang, who is one of the four Indian wrestlers to have qualified for the Tokyo Games, said.

The 17-year-old Ritika allegedly died by suicide after losing her bout during a tournament in Bharatpur.

Police suspected that the defeat in the tournament could be a reason behind the drastic step taken by the wrestler.

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