The Sports Authority of India (SAI) confirmed on Tuesday that they have granted a one-month extension for Bajrang Punia’s training stint in USA and it will noe continue till the first week of February.
The Olympic bound wrestler qualified for the games in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category and he has been training in Cliff Kean Wrestling Club in Michigan since December 4.
The SAI will borne the full cost of Rs.11.65 lakhs required for the additional one-month training.
“This decision was taken at the Mission Olympic Cell meeting that took place last week,” a press release from SAI said.
“All facilities here are available, there is a gym, moreover I am getting very good sparring partners. The college boys who train here are good as well. I am getting access to everything I need to improve my level,” Punia was quoted as saying in it.
“The quality of sparring partners here is very good. In India I am normally training with 74 kg and 79 kg category wrestlers but here I am getting to train with my own weight category,” the two-time World wrestling medallist added.
It was the bronze medal that Punia won at the World Championships in Nur Sultan, in September 2019, that earned him a place at the Tokyo Olympics.
Punia also confirmed that he will make his competitive wrestling return at the Rome ranking series event in March and will follow that up by taking part in the Asian Championships in Kazakhstan.
The grappler is one of India’s top athletes. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2015 and also won the Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2019. He has won seven Gold medals till date and that has come in competitions like Asian Games (2018), Commonwealth Games (2018), Asian Championships (2017, 2019), Commonwealth Championship (2016, 2017) and Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (2017).