Recently bereaved Deepak Punia gets back to serious training

After overcoming the death of his mother and spending three months in his village, Punia has moved back to his usual training centre in Delhi.

Deepak Punia at the World Wrestling Championship in September, 2019. Punia currently trains at the Chhatrasal stadium in Delhi.   -  PTI

After overcoming the death of his mother, wrestler Deepak Punia has got back to serious training.

The World Championships silver medallist, whose mother Krishna Devi died of a heart-attack in April, spent three months of the lockdown period at his village Chhara in Jhajjar district of Haryana before moving back to his usual training centre, the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi, about three weeks ago.

“My mother’s passing was a big shock for me. Slowly I got back to my training. When I was in my village I trained at a local akhara, maintaining social distancing norms. After returning to the Chhatrasal Stadium, I am able to train properly,” Deepak told Sportstar.

‘Nice to be among friends’

The 21-year-old, a reigning World junior champion, was happy to be back among his friends, including close buddy and room partner Ravi Dahiya, a Worlds medallist and Asian champion.

“Even though 25-30 wrestlers are training at Chhatrasal at the moment, it is always nice to be among friends and train in a good environment. Training alongside two-time Olympic medallist and our idol Sushil Kumar is a big motivation. He encourages us, shares his experience and explains finer details of the sport,” said Deepak, who bagged a bronze medal in the Asian Championships in Delhi earlier this year.

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Deepak, who booked a quota place in men’s freestyle 86kg when he took the silver medal in the World Championships in Nur-Sultan last year, said his focus would now be to shine in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. “There is no concrete plan as of now. But I will work on my technique and speed to get better,” said Deepak.