Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday touched a new high in his career by achieving the number one rank in the world in the 65kg category.
The 24-year-old Bajrang, who has won five medals this season, including CWG and Asian Games gold and a silver at the World Championship, was placed atop the ranking table with 96 points in the UWW list.
It has turned out to be a remarkable season for Bajrang, who was also the only Indian grappler to be given a seeding at the Budapest World Championship.
Bajrang is comfortably leading the chart and Cuban Alejandro Enrique Vlades Tobier is a distant second with 66 points. Bajrang had won a close semifinal against Tobier in the Budapest Worlds.
Russia’s Akhmed Chakaev (62) is in third place and the new world champion Takuto Otoguro (56) is at number four, followed by Turkey’s Selahattin Kilicsallayan (50).
Interestingly, though India has five female wrestlers who are in top-10 bracket in their respective categories,Bajrang is the lone male Indian to figure in the list.
Pooja Dhanda, who became only the fourth Indian woman to win a World Championship medal, is now ranked sixth in the women’s 57kg with 52 points. She had taken a bronze.
Ritu Phogat completes the top-10 in the women’s 50kg, with 33 points.