Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju (File Photo)
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju (File Photo)

Our wrestlers are prepared for 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Kiren Rijiju

ANI | Updated: Sep 24, 2019 21:03 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 24 (ANI): Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday felicitated Indian wrestlers for their brilliant performances in the recently concluded World Wrestling Championships and said the athletes would be a major force to reckon with in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"We are looking for better performance in the future. This coming Olympic 2020 Tokyo is going to be watershed and our wrestlers are prepared," Rijiju told media persons here.
"Our wrestling team is going to be one of the major force in Tokyo 2020," the union minister said.
In the World Wrestling Championships, Deepak Punia bagged a silver medal, while Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Kumar, Bajrang Punia and Rahul Aware ended up with bronze.
The minister felicitated silver medalist Deepak Punia with Rs 7 lakh cash prize, while all other four bronze medalists were awarded Rs 4 lakh.
"We have just given the small token of amount as a reward but more than that it is the honour they have brought for the country," Rijiju said.
Aware defeated USA's Tyler Lee Graff 11-4 in the 61-kg weight category to win the medal. However, this was not an Olympic category and as a result, the wrestler has not qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"This is a record five medals and four have qualified for Olympics, this had never happened before," the sports minister said.
Vinesh Phogat secured a spot in Tokyo Olympics and later clinched a bronze medal after defeating Greece's Maria Prevolariki by 4-1.
"I want to win a medal in Olympic this time and wash out the bitter memories of the past," Phogat told ANI.
"When I was injured, my main focus in rehab was to qualify again for the Olympics," she added.
In the 2018 Asian Games, she had clinched a gold medal in the 50 kg category. (ANI)