India’s wrestler Bajrang Punia admitted that he had fear while going for the attack in his semifinal clash against Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev. In fact, the expectations from Punia were of Gold as he is one of the best in his weight categories but a knee injury has been holding him back since the last one month.
It was noticed that the Wrestler from Haryana was defensive in his play in the semifinal match against Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev as he lost by a big margin of 12-5. However, Punia was able to turn the tables in the Bronze medal match against Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov convincingly by 8-0 to win a medal in his maiden appearance at the Olympic Games.
“If I had gone all out in my semi-final bout the result could have been different,” he said, referring to the defeat against Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev. “With the knee strapping, it was difficult with the movements to go for attack. I had fear while going for the attack.”
In fact, Punia was advised to rest by Doctors in Russia and start his recovery but he decided to play in the Olympics.
“I was advised to rest. I could not have done that with the Olympics so close, so I did the rehabilitation in Russia. I was off mat training for 15-20 days.”
Punia added that he was determined to give his best in the Bronze medal bout against Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov. It was a matter of pride for the Indian wrestler and he gave more than 100% to clinch the medal for the country.
“I told myself this is a fight for which I have to give everything. I knew it was my last chance and even if I got injured it didn’t matter, I will have enough time to recover. This opportunity will not come. If I had played the same way in the semi-final, it could have been a different result. But the knee made it difficult,” he said.