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CWG 2022, Wrestling: PM Narendra Modis’ words motivated me after Olympic heartbreak, says Deepak Punia




Deepak Punia came close to winning a medal in his first appearance at the Olympics. Heartbreakingly, the young wrestler from Haryana missed out on the podium after losing a fiercely contested bout to Miles Amine of San Marino in the men’s 86kg wrestling category.

Deepak had gone to Tokyo with many dreams. Winning an Olympic medal was also his late mother’s dream, but the youngster, who is one of the country’s top-rated promising wrestlers, felt desperately short of finishing on the podium in the Japanese capital.

A few minutes after this valiant fight for the bronze medal in Tokyo, Deepak Punia received a message on social networks from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Deepak Punia narrowly lost bronze but won our hearts. He is a mine of courage and talent. My best wishes to Deepak for his future endeavours, Prime Minister Modi had tweeted.

Cut to August 5, 2022, Deepak Punia won a gold medal in his first Commonwealth Games appearance. The Indian wrestler dethroned two-time champion Pakistani Muhammad Inam in the grand final, displaying his defensive ability and composure at the highest level.

Missing out on the Tokyo Olympics medal still pinches Deepak Punia, but the youngster believes the CWG medal is a good start on his journey of achieving the Olympic dream in Paris in 2024.

Speaking to India Today from Birmingham, Deepak Punia recalled his interaction with Prime Minister Modi after the Tokyo Olympics and said his words of encouragement had motivated him and helped him overcome the heartbreak of the ‘last year.

I want to thank my compatriots, I want to thank PM Modi. After losing the medal at the Tokyo Olympics, PM Modi called me and motivated me. He said don’t worry, boy. You can do better in the future, said Deepak Punia.

I was not able to complete that (winning the Tokyo medal). But I was able to achieve my first goal by winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. My ultimate goal is the Paris Games. Asian Games then, then Paris, he added.


Deepak was facing Pakistan’s Inam, who won wrestling gold at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010 and Gold Coast in 2018. However, the young Indian said he was not focused on his reputation. opponents and that he stepped onto the mat in the final with a single goal of winning the gold medal.

The challenge was very special. It was a fight between India and Pakistan. He (Muhammad Inam) was a senior campaign official. But I didn’t take any extra pressure. I wanted to focus on my goal and achieve it. It turned out so.

It’s very nice to win a gold medal for the country, said Deepak.

Deepak was one of India’s 6 medalists on the opening day of the competition. The 23-year-old joined Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia as one of three gold medalists for India on August 5.

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