India's Bajrang Punia is not a world wrestler in the 65 kg category



Old Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday touched a new high in his career, achieving the world's first place in the 65kg class.

24-year-old Bajrang, who has won five medals this season, including the CWG gold and the Asian Games and a Silver at the World Championship, was placed at the top of the 96-point ranking list in the UWW list.

It has been a fantastic time for Bajrang, who was also the only Indian fighter to have seeded at the World Championship in Budapest.

"All athletes feel the dream of being the first in the world of his career, but if I had become the world's first gold medalist, it would be better," Bajrang told PTI.

"But I'm working hard and I will try to keep this world series with a Gold World Championship next year," he added.

Bajrang leads the table comfortably and Cuban Alejandro Enrique Vlades Tobier is a distant second with 66 points. Bajrang had won a close semi-final against Tobier in the Worlds of Budapest.

Russia's Ahmed Tsakaev (62) is in third place and the new world champion Takuto Otoguro (56) is in fourth place, followed by Turkey's Sheikh Kiltashalayian (50).

Interestingly, Bajrang is the lone male Indian to reach the top-10, but the country has five female wrestlers who are at the top of the 10 categories in their respective categories.

Pooja Dhanda, who became only the fourth Indian woman to win a World Championship medal, is now ranked sixth in the 57kg women's 52-point ranking. He had taken a bronze.

Ritu Phogat completes the top-10 in the women's 50kg, with 33 points.

Sarita Mor ranks seventh to 59kg with 29 points, while Navjot Kaur (32) and Kiran (37) are the ninth in the 68kg and 76kg category respectively.