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Bajrang Punia Advocates For Wrestling To Be Made The National Sport

Three-time World Championships medallist Bajrang Punia on Tuesday called for wrestling to be made the national sport, insisting that Indian grapplers have consistently won medals in big-ticket events. During a felicitation function of World Championships medal-winning wrestlers by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi on Monday, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan mooted the idea of ​​making wrestling the national sport, which received the backing of double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar .

"I too feel wrestling should be made the national sport as it is a sport which has consistently won medals in the World Championships and Olympics , "said Bajrang during the program organized by the Sports Ministry.

Bajrang clinched a bronze medal in just-awaited World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan to add to his silver (2018 Budapest ) and bronze (2013 Budapest) he had won earlier.

Sport Minister Kiren Rijiju however, said he can't discriminate or favor any particular sports.

" As a Sports Ministe r I have to give equal importance to all sports. I can't sound discriminatory. Wrestling is very important for India, it makes our country flag fly high but we have to give importance to all Olympic sports as well as non-Olympic and traditional sports, "he said.

" But to declare some sport as a national sport … it is a matter which is very emotional and critical. So as a Sports Minister, I should not be making announcement or judgment on the basis of any demand. I am not going to discuss this issue and generate unnecessary controversy. "

The Sports Minister also hoped that wrestling will produce maximum number of medals at next year's Tokyo Olympics.

" The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is going to be a watershed moment and along with other disciplines our wrestling team will be one of the major force in Tokyo. I am happy with the management of wrestling, the efforts of the coaches and entire technical support staff, "Rijiju said.

" India has the capability to win many medals at Tokyo. "

WFI President Sharan, who was also present at the program, promised that wrestlers would produce a much-better performance in Tokyo.

"India had won two medals at Rio and one of them was in wrestling. I promise that our wrestlers will double that medal at Tokyo, "Sharan added.

News Reporter

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