Bajrang Punia at the 2019 World Championships (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Cliff Keen Wrestling Club/Michigan RTC will host three-time world medalist Bajrang Punia of India for a month-long training camp in December, the club announced Sunday (Nov. 29). Already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after his bronze-medal world finish in 2019, Bajrang is currently ranked No. 2 in the world at 65kg.
"We continue to elevate our training environment at Michigan and are excited to have Bajrang here in Ann Arbor," said Michigan head coach Sean Bormet. "I've closely watched his wrestling over the last several years, and I really respect his fierce competitiveness and work ethic. He is highly regarded around the globe and is a world-class training partner. It's an outstanding opportunity for everyone."
"I am excited to train with Michigan's Cliff Keen Wrestling Club," said Bajrang. "This will be my first time going there, so I am looking forward to training with the team. They have some great coaches in Sergei [Beloglazov] and Sean, and I hope to get good partners as well. I know it will be cold there, but I'm prepared. The U.S. has been a great destination for me. There are a lot of wrestling fans there who support me, for which I'm thankful. I'll do my best."
Bajrang medaled at 65kg at the last two World Championships, claiming silver in 2018 before his bronze finish in 2019, and previously claimed bronze at 60kg in 2013. He also took 65kg silver at the 2017 U23 World Championships. He is a six-time Asian Championships medalist, capturing gold in 2017 and 2019, and twice reached the finals at the quadrennial Asian Games, with a gold-medal finish in 2018.
He placed in the top two at each of his UWW Ranking Series events in 2020, defeating American Jordan Oliver, 4-3, to capture gold at the Matteo Pellicone tournament in January before earning silver at the Asian Championships in February. With those performances, he has assured himself a seeded start at the Olympic Games next summer.
Bajrang will arrive in Michigan next week, and while stateside, he will participate in FloWrestling's eight-man 150-pound bracket on Dec. 18 in Austin, Texas.