New Delhi, India, July 30, 2020: Grieving Indian wrestler Deepak Punia has returned to serious training after the death of his mother.
The World Championships silver medallist, whose mother died of a heart attack in April, spent three months of the lockdown period at his village Chhara in Jhajjar district of Haryana before moving back to his usual training centre, the Chhatrasal stadium in New Delhi early this month.
“My mother’s passing was a big shock for me. Slowly I got back to training. When I was in my village I trained at a local ‘akhara’ maintaining social distance. Now I am able to train properly,” Deepak told Sportstar.
The 21-year-old grappler, a reigning World Junior champion, booked a quota place in men’s freestyle 86kg when he won the silver medal in the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan last year. He said his focus now would be to shine at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
“I will work on my technique and speed to get better,” Deepak said. “Even though there are 25 to 30 wrestlers training at Chhatrasal at the moment it is always nice to be among our friends and training in a good environment.
“Training alongside two-time Olympic medallist and our idol Sushil Kumar is a big motivation. He encourages us, shares his experience and explains finer details of the sport,” added Deepak, who bagged a bronze medal in the Asian Championships in Delhi earlier this year.