Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia says that he has overcome the fear of getting injured again and has got back to the competition mode ahead of the Commonwealth Games next month.

Bajrang, who secured an Olympics medal last year despite nursing a knee injury, got injured again after the Olympics. It affected his natural game as he wrestled defensively in some events earlier this year.

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“Even after winning a medal at the biggest stage, my mind was preoccupied with the thought that something might be lacking in my body. I was trying out a few things and those were not working. My body had become slow and attacks were not coming through.

“When I began training, I thought I should not get injured again. It adversely affected my game. I consulted my physio and coaches and I did some tests (related to my speed, stamina, flexibility and power) last month. After that there have been some improvements,” Bajrang said during a virtual interaction facilitated by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Saturday before his departure for a 35-day training stint in the USA.

Bajrang asserted that he was ready to get back to competitions again. “Now I am fully fit. In the last 15-20 days’ training, I have noticed some differences in my body and wrestling movement. I think I am ready for competition. I will try to have a good beginning at the Commonwealth Games.”

In order to avoid distractions, the 28-year-old would train in the Michigan University prior to the Commonwealth Games and the World championships in Serbia in September.

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"Some top wrestlers train there. They train there but represent different countries. I was there before the Tokyo Olympics. I'm returning with more focus and determination to spar with the best. I want to get back to being the Bajrang you saw in 2018 and 2019," he said.

Bajrang wanted to perform better in the Paris Olympics. "Nothing has changed in me after the Tokyo Olympics. I have worked on my fitness and I want to bring back my own self," he said.