Deepak Punia – The Indian Freestyle Wrestler at Tokyo Olympics

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The Indian athletes are undoubtedly delivering exemplary performance at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Be it hockey, equestrian or track and field events, these athletes are making sure they make India proud with their outstanding performance. Deepak Punia is one such athlete who with the help of his phenomenal performance has lived up to every Indian’s expectations. Let’s read more about this star athlete who’s making India proud!

Credits – ZeeNews

Early Life and Career

Deepak Punia was born in the Jhajjar region of Haryana, His father, Subhash Pania worked as a dairy farmer. His father used to take him to watch ‘dangal’ matches. Deepak started his wrestling career at the age of 5 in an akhara in his hometown. This hometown was led by Arjuna Award Winner Virender Singh Chhara.

“This made us realise that he has the ability to become an international grappler as he trounced the opponents who were not only older to him, but were more bulky. He won the cash prize of the dangal,” recollects his father, Subhash.

His father has been really supportive throughout his wrestling journey. Deepak, later on, was also offered a role in the Indian Army as a sepoy. 

Also Read: Meet Neeraj Chopra, India’s Golden Athlete at Tokyo Olympics!

Awards and Achievements

The following are the awards and achievements won by the Indian Wrestler- Deepak Punia.

Deepak Punia in his 2015 journey at the Chhatrasal Stadium began his training under the legendary wrestler Guru Satpalji. Deepak then participated in the World Cadet Championship. However, he did not win any medal in this. In the same year, he won the Sub-Junior World Championship. He then won silver and gold medals at the World Junior Championship in subsequent years.

The 2018 Asian Junior Championship bought Deepak the gold medal in the 86kg division and in the 2019 Asian Junior Championship, he won a bronze. In 2019, Deepak Punia was invited to take part in the World Championship in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan. However, because of an ankle injury, Deepak was unable to compete.

Also Read: Hockey Player Manpreet Singh’s Journey from Mithapur to Olympics

Performance at Olympics

Youtube: Olympics

The 2019 World Championships silver medalist had come into the match after losing to USA’s David Morris Taylor in the semi-final. Deepak Punia had qualified for the bronze medal match. He came within seconds of winning a bronze medal in the 86kg category of men’s freestyle wrestling, but eventually lost to Myles Amine of San Marino at the Makuhari Messe Hall and couldn’t win the bronze medal. 

“If I will win a medal at the World Championships, I will book a quota for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Qualifying for Tokyo Olympics is my main target.”

The Indian wrestler looked tired in the later period and hardly made any moves to secure points. His strategy to defend almost worked out but Amine’s strategy succeeded making him win the match. Medal or no medal, he has definitely made us proud with his performance and extraordinary efforts. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated Deepak Punia for his striking fight on Thursday. PM Modi said Punia is a “powerhouse” of grit and talent. 

His father also praised his son’s performance and said, “I only want to say that there is no need to worry. He (Deepak Punia) is playing at a very young age and many more chances will come in future,” 

Twitter: Nerendra Modi

So, this was all about Deepak Punia, the Indian Freestyle Wrestler at the Olympics. Watch this space to stay updated about everything education-related. For the latest updates, you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and also subscribe to our newsletter. The Leverage Edu team wishes all the Indian Olympians all the very best!

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