Deepak Punia's triumph is an example of how far the desire to win can take you. The 17-year-old, son of a milkman, defeated wrestlers from Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, USA and Turkey to be be crowned cadet world champion in the 85kg (heavyweight) category.
What's even more remarkable though, is the simple incentive behind his achievement: cow's milk.
“I wanted cow’s milk. I love cow’s milk because it gives me the strength to wrestle. I told my father that I won’t return empty handed and he has to give me the milk,” he's quoted as saying in an Indian Express report. Apparently, his father didn't give him cow's milk when he returned from the junior wrestling world championships empty handed. This time though, he's come back with gold and is only the third cadet world champion from India since the tournament was restarted in 2011.
Winning is not something new for him though - Deepak has been brilliant at wrestling since the tender age of seven. He also won gold in the junior Asian championships and a silver at the cadet Asian championships. This win however, is a turning point in his career - one, which was kickstarted by his training at Chhatarsaal stadium under the tutelage of Sushil Kumar's coach Satpal Singh.
Deepak now wants to turn senior as soon as possible, and harbours plans for Tokyo 2020.
“My goal is to medal at the Olympics in 2020, I know I'm far away from that goal, but I know I will get there some day, right now I want to graduate to the senior level as soon as possible," he told Sportskeeda.
Good luck in your journey, Deepak!