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When Bajrang checked about the well-being of his friend's family in Iran

NEW DELHI: They do not meet on the mat to grapple for medals, but Bajrang Punia and Hassan Yazdani have heartfelt recognize for every different, which has ended in a camaraderie between the wrestling champions through the years. And when troubling information concerning the Yazdanis reached Bajrang, he couldn't face up to checking with the Iranian legend.

One of the international locations most significantly suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Iran is attempting to get itself out of the grip of the virus. Among the unfortunate to contact the illness there was Hassan's father, Hossein Yazdani. The good information, although, is that he has recovered and is close to complete fitness.

It was in the second half of March that Hossein's COVID-19 take a look at returned sure, which followed a length of quarantined recovery. A few days later, Bajrang messaged Yazdani to inquire about his father's health.

"His father tested positive a few days back. So I asked him how he was doing. He is better, and he (Hassan) told me that the coronavirus situation is slightly better in Iran now," mentioned Bajrang while chatting with in a video interview right through the continued lockdown in India.

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Yazdani is a two-time world champion in the 86kg department (2017 and 2019), but even so being the Rio Olympics gold medallist in 74kg. At the Nur Sultan World Championships remaining year, Yazdania was to take on India's Deepak Punia in the ultimate, but the latter couldn't take the mat in the gold-medal fit because of an ankle injury.

Bajrang, meanwhile, wrestles in the 65kg category, wherein he received the 2018 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold. A bronze on the 2019 World Championships, Bajrang's 3rd medal in the match, helped him qualify for the Olympics. However, the pandemic has compelled the Games to be postponed by means of a year.

"From an athlete's point of view, one year is a long time. Wrestling is a sport that requires a lot of power and speed besides staying supremely fit. Plus, you have to stay mentally in good shape as well. So one year is a long time," Bajrang shared his opinion on the resolution.

"Having said that, we were prepared for the Olympics, not for a pandemic. Nobody knew such a health emergency would strike the world that even the Olympics will get postponed. As I have said before, life is priority, the Olympics will happen. First there is life, then anything else," he added.

Going back to Yazdani, who underwent surgical procedure remaining December for a torn meniscus, Bajrang felt the Olympic postponement has come as a blessing in conceal for his Iranian pal.

"It is good for him (Yazdani) as well, as it gives him time to recover and train to be in best shape for the Olympics."

The Tokyo Olympics had been rescheduled for July 23 to August eight in 2021.


Like most athletes the world over, Bajrang too has made makeshift arrangements at house to stay in shape. This includes a room was a mini gym and having fellow wrestler Jitender Kumar to grapple with. But they don't have a mat, and Bajrang is with out his personal trainer Shako Bentinidis shut by means of.

"We have gym equipment in a spacious room on the other floor. Don't have a mat at home, so doing just physical training at present. The trainer gives the schedule, am following that," Bajrang mentioned about his lockdown fitness regimen.

"I stay chatting with Shako (over the telephone) and he advises me on tips on how to train. He has advised me to grapple in status position handiest.

"Jitender and I reside together, as a result of we learn about every different. We do not go out or meet any person. This illness spreads from human to human contact, and ours is a contact sport, so if we train with an unknown person, it will be very risky. So each Jitender and I do status coaching (grappling)."

Bajrang had plans to go back and forth to Russia in March but had to shelve his plans and keep at house, which became out to be a sensible resolution as the first phase of the lockdown (March 25 to April 14) has been extended till May 3 as of now.

"I was scheduled to visit Russia for coaching as the Olympics were drawing near...but I cancelled my shuttle for the reason that tournaments were getting cancelled or postponed. So it will had been immature to nonetheless go ahead with my plans to coach out of the country," mentioned Bajrang.

Bajrang is 26 now, and this is the longest that he has been house at a stretch since he began wrestling on the age of 10.

"Ever since I was a kid, I have stayed clear of house mostly. I began wrestling when I was 10 or 11 years previous, and hadn't spent the sort of long length at house since then. We do come house in between, but never for this long. No global athlete gets this a lot kinfolk time," he mentioned with a smile.

He concluded with an attraction, echoing the feelings of thousands and thousands of Indians and his buddies from the sports fraternity.

"Through, I want to urge my fellow Indians to not misbehave with the police and health employees. This is inhuman. Please take into account that those precautionary measures towards the coronavirus are to safeguard India. It's time to unite in the combat towards the virus."

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