Olympic medallist Bajrang without dedicated physio since Tokyo Games

India's top wrestler Bajrang Punia is struggling to secure services of a dedicated physio, who would help him recover fast from his niggles and expedite his recovery.

The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist spent about two weeks in Iran with coach Sujeet Mann but not having a physio by his side further delayed his recovery.   -  REUTERS

India's top wrestler Bajrang Punia is struggling to secure services of a dedicated physio, who would help him recover fast from his niggles and expedite his recovery.

The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist has knocked on the doors of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), sports NGO JSW and Sports Authority of India (SAI) in the last few months but he is still waiting to hear from the authorities.

Bajrang says he would not have missed two events, including one ranking series, last month if he had a dedicated physiotherapist attached with him.

At the beginning of the national camp in Sonepat, he developed strain in his left knee during training towards January-end and it eventually forced him to miss Yasar Dogu Ranking Series event in Turkey.

He spent about two weeks in Iran with coach Sujeet Mann but not having a physio by his side further delayed his recovery.

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"I travelled with a doctor but it would have been better if I had a physio with me. I did all my rehab on my own. If I had a physio I would have recovered faster and competed in those events.

"I am without a proper physio since the Tokyo Games," Bajrang told reporters after winning 65kg trial for the upcoming Asian Championship.

"There was one guy Amoditya but he unfortunately passed away. I have asked WFI, JSW and also SAI but have not got physio till date." His coach Sujeet Mann said though there are physios available during the National camp, they have a lot of wrestlers to attend to and it is ideal if someone like Bajrang has a dedicated physio.

WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI that they have no issue in giving Bajrang a physio, instead they have approved the request but the Railways has not spared the desired physio.

Bajrang wants senior physiotherapist Anand Dubey, a Railways employee, to assist him but it has been learnt that Railways does not have a policy to spare its staff for personal engagements.

Dubey had helped Bajrang during the Tokyo Games as the WFI physio did not have all-access accreditation. Dubey, who was the Indian tennis team, stayed back to help the Indian wrestling squad and during that period Bajrang felt that having Dubey's expertise will help him.

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