World championship silver medallist Amit Kumar and bronze winner Bajrang were accorded a warm welcome on their return from Budapest in the wee hours of Friday, with hundreds of supporters turning up at the international airport.
Both wrestlers returned home to a hero’s welcome as fans and young grapplers from nearby akharas came with garlands, bouquets and sweets, danced to deafening drum beats while they waited for the wrestlers to come out of the airport.
The crowd carried the duo on their shoulders and welcomed them with a huge roar. Both waved and acknowledged the grand welcome while relishing the carnival-like atmosphere outside the terminal.
Shouts of Amit, Bajrang ki jay reverberated in the air. Even before the flight from Budapest landed, a huge crowd had gathered.
While Amit won a silver medal in the 55kg freestyle category, Bajrang clinched a bronze in the 60kg.
Speaking to the media, Amit expressed happiness over his performance and said he was overwhelmed by the reception.
“I am very happy with my performance. I was gunning for the gold medal as I had practiced hard for the tournament, but unfortunately couldn’t get it due to a bad umpiring decision.
The referee warned me for not attacking the Iranian and awarded him the point. I was a contender for gold. Nevertheless, I am happy with my performance and overwhelmed by the reception received here,” he said.
Bajrang, too, seemed excited about the bronze medal and aimed to carry on his good performance in the tournaments ahead. “I am happy to have made the whole country proud. I am happy with my performance. This is India’s best-ever finish in the world championship,” he said. — PTI