Bajrang Punia becomes world No.1 in 65kg category

Bajrang Punia is the first Indian wrestler with multiple World Championships medals. PTI Photo

Wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday touched a new career high 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 golds and a silver at the World Championships, was placed atop the ranking table with 96 points in the United World Wrestling list. He was also the only Indian grappler to be given a seeding at the Budapest World Championships.

Bajrang comfortably leads the table and Cuban Alejandro Enrique Vlades Tobier is a distant second with 66 points. Bajrang won a close semi-final 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).

While Bajrang is the lone male Indian to figure in the top 10, the country has five female wrestlers in the same bracket in their respective categories.

Pooja Dhanda, who last month became only the fourth Indian woman to win a World Championships medal, is now ranked sixth in the women's 57kg with 52 points. Ritu Phogat completes the top 10 in the women's 50kg with 33 points. Sarita Mor is ranked seventh in 59kg with 29 points, while Navjot Kaur (32) and Kiran (37) are ninth in the 68kg and the 76kg category respectively.