Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia is the only Indian wrestler from a strong 30-member squad to get a seeding at the upcoming World Championships as he has been seeded third in the 65kg category in men’s freestyle competition.
Going by his form, Bajrang will be a strong medal contender at the World Wrestling Championships, scheduled to held in Budapest, Hungary, from October 20 to 28.
The United World Wrestling (UWW) has introduced the ranking-points based seeding system for the first time for the World Championships. Bajrang has 45 points in the ranking list released by the world body.
In the past, wrestlers were pulled into the brackets via a random draw of lots.
Recent ranking tournaments such as Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia and Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul have been used to determine the ranking points for the World Championship.
Turkey’s Selahattin Kilicsallayan is the top seed (50 points) in the 65kg while Ilias Bekbulatov from Russia is second and Haji Aliyev from Azerbaijan is fourth.
Bajrang won a bronze at the 2013 World Championship and is aiming for the top prize.
“I had come here early to get acclimatized to conditions and am fully focused. I hope I can live up to everybody’s expectations and return home with a gold medal,” Bajrang said.
The 24-year-old has been training at the Mᴲahạ Olympic Training Center for the past two weeks, reaching Hungary before other team members arrived on Wednesday.
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