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Deepak Punia becomes 1st Indian junior world champion in 18 years

Deepak beat Russia`s Alik Shebzukov to win the 86kg junior freestyle title which follows the silver he won in the category in 2018.

Deepak Punia becomes 1st Indian junior world champion in 18 years
Image Credits: Twitter/@BajrangPunia

Deepak Punia on Wednesday won gold at the Junior World Championships in Talinn, Estonia. Deepak beat Russia`s Alik Shebzukov to win the 86kg junior freestyle title which follows the silver he won in the category in 2018.

Vicky Chahar, on the other hand, won bronze in the 92 kg category by beating Mongolia`s Batmagnai Enkhtuvshin. Both Deepak and Chahar had won gold and bronze respectively in the 2016 Cadet World Championships that was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

Deepak is the first Indian in 18 years to win a Junior World Championship title. He won the Cadet world championship in 2016 but missed out on a bronze in the junior worlds in 2017. In 2018 he won the silver medal in Slovakia. 

The 19-year-old also made the senior team for the World Championships and will represent India in the 86kg category in Kazakhstan. The tournament, which will be held from September 14 to 22, will also serve as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.