October 23, 2018 1:50:02 pm
Wrestler Bajrang Punia has dedicated his silver medal at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary to the people who died in the tragic train accident in Amritsar which claimed 61 lives on the spot and saw many injured. 24-year-old Punia bagged the silver medal in 65kg Freestyle Final after going down to Takuto Otoguro of Japan.
Punia went down 9-16 to the 19-year-old Japanese wrestler who is now the youngest world champion for his country. Before him, legendary Yuji Takada, who won gold at 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, had become youngest world champion from Japan at 20 in 1974.
Taking to Twitter after his second place finish on the mat, Punia wrote, “I want to dedicate this silver medal at World Wrestling Championships to the people died in the tragic Amritsar train accident. My deep condolences to their families.”
I want to dedicate this silver medal at World Wrestling Championships to the people died in the tragic Amritsar train accident. My deep condolences to their families. pic.twitter.com/oSsg3ABA2c
— Bajrang Punia (@BajrangPunia) October 22, 2018
The accident occured on Friday when a speeding train ran over a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled on to the track while watching burning of Ravana effigy. The accident took place at the Joda Fatak area.
Punia has upgraded his bronze medal in 2013 to silver on Monday. The medal ade him the only Indian wrestler to win two medals at the World Championships. Sushil Kumar, meanwhile, is the only Indian to have won gold at the Worlds in 2010.
Punia is the fourth Indian to make it to the World Championships’ gold-medal match. Apart from Sushil and Punia, Amit Dahiya (2013) and Bishambar Singh (1967) are other Indians to make it to the World Championships’ final in men’s freestyle. Udey Chand (bronze, 1961), Ramesh Kumar (bronze, 2009) and Narsingh Yadav (bronze, 2015) are other men’s freestyle wrestlers to win a medal at the World Championships. Among the women, Babita Phogat (bronze, 2012), Geeta Phogat (bronze, 2012) and Alka Tomar (bronze, 2006) are the medal winners at Worlds.
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