Athletes achieving greatness sure brings a great deal of exuberance amongst the faithful, but as layman we tend to forget the bigger picture; the picture consisting of hardships and sweat these athletes burn to reach the summit. One name in the fray is wrestler Bajrang Punia, who created history in Budapest last month by becoming first Indian to win two World Championship medals.
Taking on Japan’s Takuto Otoguro, Bajrang brought home silver, and while the nation was commemorating his triumph, he knew it could well have been aureate if not for his elbow injury. You heard it right! The 24-year-old entered the Worlds with an elbow injury he sustained before the tournament but didn’t make the news public as he thought people will take it as an excuse. And that, unfortunately, is the downside of being a global athlete.
“I suffered an injury to the ligament of the right elbow joint a week prior to the start of the Worlds. It happened during training. But, I didn’t disclose it to anyone, else people would have said I was making excuses after losing the final,” Bajrang Punia told The Times of India.
Ignoring an injury is sure to have a side effect and the 24-year-old – who won gold in Commonwealth and Asian Games this year – is aching the same. Talking further about it, he confirmed that he will be out for at least 2 months and will miss the Nationals in Uttar Pradesh, which begins on November 29.
“I was in immense pain, but couldn’t have afforded to pull out of the Worlds since it was a big event. My physio gave me injections and painkillers to keep the pain under control. Painkillers were given to me during the bouts as well. I forgot the pain in my pursuit for a medal. I will be away from the mat for 7-8 weeks,” concluded Bajrang.
With the 2020 Olympics qualification beginning from the next year, Bajrang cannot really bear staying out for a longer period.