UWW doctors used bandage for knee-ankle injuries on my injured skull: Bajrang Punia | More sports News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Bajrang Punia on Thursday blamed the United World Wrestling‘s (UWW) mat doctors for derailing his World Championships campaign after they applied the bandage meant to protect ankle and knee on the wrestler’s injured skull, which blocked his vision and made him conscious about the taping coming off during bouts.
Bajrang, who won his record fourth medal (men’s 65kg category) at the Worlds in Belgrade, informed that he had to change the bandage after every bout for the fear of blood coming out of his wound and the match referee awarding his opponent a walkover.
“The bandage applied to cover my injured skull was the one used to tape an injured knee or ankle. They didn’t have the proper taping with them to cover my skull. I hadn’t cut my hair or shaved for the Worlds. So, when I removed the bandage after my pre-quarterfinal bout against Cuba‘s Alejandro Valdes Tobier in the warm-up area, it tore off my hair from the scalp and beard area. It was painful and left me with an itching sensation. It took me at least 15-20 minutes to change the bandage for my next bout against USA’s Yianni Diakomihalis, which I lost on technical superiority. Coaches and I lost a lot of time trying to get the taping off my face. The entire focus was on removing the bandage. We couldn’t plan for the quarterfinal bout,” Bajrang told TOI in an interview.
“The bandage was blocking my vision as it was rolling down my eyes. It was slippery and disturbed my rhythm and intensity during bouts. I didn’t have the time to tell the doctors that the taping they were applying was not right. If a wrestler gets injured during the bout, he/she has a time of four minutes to return to the action and fight, else the referee will disqualify you or award your opponent a walkover. I had the bandage cover for every bout right up to winning the bronze, but it was quite a challenging task to replace it with a new taping after every match. Had the injury not happened, I would have certainly fared better at the Worlds. The preparation was solid and it was all about executing it. The results didn’t come as per expectations,” he added.
The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist had suffered a deep cut on his skull which needed to be taped heavily to control the bleeding during his bout against Tobier. The reigning CWG champion prevailed over Tobier 5-4 in a nail-biting contest, but later lost to Diakomihalis 10-0 in the quarters. After the American reached the final round, Bajrang fought his way through repechage to win bronze.
“I have five stitches on my skull and it will take around 10 days for the cut to heal. The idea was to prevent any serious injury from happening like in the case of knee, ankle or the joint which requires a painful surgery and a long rehabilitation process,” he said.

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