Wrestler Bajrang regains world no. 1 spot; FIH imposes hefty fine on Pakistan – Current Affairs

Story 1- Wrestler Bajrang regains world no. 1 spot

India’s Bajrang Punia has regained the world number one spot in the men's 65kg freestyle category, as per the latest rankings issued by United World Wrestling on April 17, 2019.

The 25-year-old, who had won gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and a silver in the World Championships in 2018, secured 58 ranking points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia, who has 21 points.

Punia, who is currently preparing for the Asian Wrestling Championship to be held in China from April 23, had first reached the world number one spot in November 2018. He had won a gold at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria in March.

About Bajrang Punia

Punia was born in Khudan village of Jhajjar district in the state of Haryana, India. He began wrestling at the age of seven and was encouraged to pursue the sport by his father. In 2015, his family moved to Sonepat so that he can attend a regional centre of Sports Authority of India.

He had won the bronze medal in the men's freestyle 60 kg category at the World Wrestling Championships in 2013.

At the 2014 Common Wealth Games at Glasgow, Scotland, he had won the silver medal in the men's freestyle 61 kg category, after losing 1-4 to David Tremblay of Canada.

At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, he had won the silver medal in the Men's freestyle 61 kg category, after losing 1-3 to Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran.

At the Asian Wrestling Championships in 2014 in Astana, Kazakhstan, Punia had won the silver medal in the men's freestyle 61 kg category, losing 0-4 to Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran.

He then won a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championship held at Delhi in 2017.

The Wrestler then continued his gold-winning streak by winning the gold in men's freestyle 65 kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast, Australia.

He picked up another gold at the 2018 Asian Games in the men's freestyle 65 kg category.

He had to though settle for silver at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships. However, after that silver medal, he claimed the world no. 1 spot in 65kg category.

Story 2- International Hockey Federation imposes fine on Pakistan

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has imposed a hefty fine of 170,000 Euros on Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for not honouring the Pro League commitments.

The International body has given Pakistan’s sports body time until June 20 to pay the fine or else the penalty would be doubled.

Key Highlights

The PHF was fined for not sending the national team for the Pro League matches in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

While confirming the fine, the cash-strapped Pakistan Hockey Federation has stated that it is in no position to pay the penalty.

PHF Secretary General Shahbaz Ahmed stated that he has requested the FIH to reduce the fine and allow it to be paid in instalments.

Shahbaz, a former Olympian and captain, is a member of the FIH Executive Board which is headed by India’s Narinder Batra.

Background

Pakistan is the most successful national field hockey team in the Hockey World Cup with four championships: 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994.

Pakistan also has the best overall performance in World Cup history in both proportional and absolute terms with 53 victories in 84 matches played, seven time draws, six appearances in the finals and only 24 losses.

The Pakistan national team has played in all FIH World Cup editions with only one absence in 2014.

The team is known for having fierce rivalry with India, having a record of playing each other in South Asian Games and Asian Games finals. They have competed against one another in twenty major tournaments finals so far, out of which Pakistan has won thirteen titles in total.

However, the team failed to qualify past the group stage in the 2006 and 2010 World cups and, for the first time in its history, it did not gain qualification for the 2014 edition of the World Cup.

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