'I am feeling good but I won't participate in any events this year. I will skip the Nationals this year to remain fresh for next year.'
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia on Wednesday said that he has started training after recuperating from his knee injury but would give this year's Senior National a miss to better prepare himself for 2022.
The 27-year-old Indian had suffered a ligament tear in the run-up to the Olympics but still managed to claim the freestyle bronze medal in 65kg category at the Tokyo Games.
He couldn't compete in this month's World Championships after being advised a six-week rehabilitation.
"My knee is fine now. I have started training just two days back. I am feeling good but I won't participate in any events this year. I will skip the Nationals this year to remain fresh for next year," Bajrang said on the sidelines of a felicitation function organised by the Religare group here.
He, however, refused to divulge his plans for next year.
"It's too early to say anything. I am not playing any competitive tournament this year that's for sure. But I am yet to chalk out my plans for next year."
The Senior Wrestling Nationals will be held from November 19 to 21 in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.
Bajrang is eager to reunite with his personal coach Shako Bentinidis of Georgia but said the final call rests with the Wrestling Federation of India.
"I am ok with what WFI decides. But I obviously will like to continue working with Shako. But the WFI has to take a call. Whatever WFI suggests I will agree," he said.