After claiming India's maiden gold at the 18th Asian Games, wrestler Bajrang Punia says he is "feeling proud" of himself as he emulated his mentor Yogeshwar Dutt, who had won the gold in the last edition.
Kartar Singh (1978, 1986), Satpal Singh (1982), Rajinder Singh (1978), Changdi Ram (1970) and Maruti Mane (1962) are the other wrestlers who form India's golden club at Asiad.
"There are very few golds for Indian wrestlers in Asiad. So it is a big achievement for me. Only Yogeshwar and Rajinder Singh have won two gold medals in a year (CWG and Asiad), I am only the third to do it, so naturally, I am feeling proud of myself," the 24-year-old said as quoted by PTI.
Bajrang gave India the first gold of the Games in Jakarta but the country's first medal came 600 kilometres away in Palembang, where the mixed rifle team of Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar faltered towards the end to settle for bronze.
The wrestler dedicated his gold medal to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on Thursday.
Following Bajrang's medal glory, the Haryana government announced a cash award of Rs 3 Crore for the wrestler.
"Congratulations to #BajrangPunia for winning medal in wrestling in #AsianGames2018 Haryana Government will honour him with 3 Crore of cash award," Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij said on Twitter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Bajrang, saying: "Congratulations @BajrangPunia for the memorable victory in the 65 kg freestyle wrestling. This win is even more special because it is India's first Gold in the @asiangames2018. Best wishes for your future endeavours."
Congratulations @BajrangPunia for the memorable victory in the 65 kg freestyle wrestling. This win is even more special because it is India's first Gold in the @asiangames2018. Best wishes for your future endeavours. #AsianGames2018— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 19, 2018
President Ram Nath Kovind joined in, saying: "Congratulations @BajrangPunia for winning the Gold in the 65kg freestyle wrestling at #AsianGames2018. India is elated at your accomplishment."