New Delhi, March 3: Star India wrestler Bajrang Punia clinched a gold medal at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov in Bulgaria and dedicated his yellow metal to Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
Abhinandan Varthaman returned to India from Pakistan's captivity on Friday (March 1) after his Mig 21 Bison aircraft crashed in Pakistani territory.
Punia on Saturday (March 2) defeated American grappler Jordan Oliver in the 65kg category in the final on Saturday at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov wrestling in Ruse, Bulgaria.
After his victory, Punia wrote on his Twitter handle in Hindi which roughly translates to, "I dedicate my gold medal to our brave IAF fighter Wing Commander Abhinandan. His courage and valour filled me with a lot of confidence. I would love to meet him one day and shake hands with him. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat."
65kg Gold 🏅 goes to - BAJRANG (IND) 🇮🇳 🌟 pic.twitter.com/BlPLvysNJY— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) March 2, 2019
The Haryana wrestler clinched gold medals at Commonwealth Games 2018, and the Asian Games 2018. He has won four gold medals and a silver in the last five tournaments.
मैं अपना गोल्ड मेडल हमारे बहादुर वायु योद्धा #WingCommandorAbhinandan को समर्पित करना चाहता हूं। उन्होंने मुझे बहुत प्रेरणा दी और मुझमें जोश भर दिया। मैं किसी दिन उनसे मिलकर उनसे हाथ मिलाना चाहता हूं।— Bajrang Punia (@BajrangPunia) March 2, 2019
🇮🇳 जय हिन्द जय भारत 🇮🇳👏 pic.twitter.com/Ww54FKt1VU
Varthaman was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after air combat between the air forces of the two countries, a day after New Delhi had conducted counter-terror operations in Pakistan's Balakot.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a special joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday announced his release as a "peace gesture".
However, India has been maintaining that Pakistani decision is in consonance with the Geneva Convention.