Tokyo Olympics: Bajrang Punia wins bronze medal in men's 65kg wrestling

  • Bajrang Punia redeemed his campaign as he earned India's sixth medal of Tokyo 2020 with a clear 8-0 victory in the bronze medal bout.
Bajrang Punia wins bronze in men's 65kg wrestling
Bajrang Punia wins bronze in men's 65kg wrestling
Published on Aug 07, 2021 04:27 PM IST
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Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday won the bronze medal after defeating Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan in the men's freestyle 65kg category. The second seed, who faced a crushing 5-12 defeat to Azerbaijan's Haji Aliyev in the semifinals, redeemed his campaign as he earned India's sixth medal of Tokyo 2020 with a clear 8-0 victory in the bronze medal bout.

The men's freestyle 65kg bronze medal showdown bout began with Punia taking a point when Niyazbekov couldn't score in the 30 seconds attacking zone. The Indian then got another point to take a 2-0 lead at the break. (Full Tokyo 2020 Coverage)

Punia started off on an attacking note in the last three minutes and got two more points with a take down to take a 4-0 lead. The India then gave no chance to the wrester from Kazakhstan by scoring four more points with two more take downs.

Punia became the sixth Indian wrestler to finish on the Olympic podium after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Kumar Dahiya. This became the second instance after the 2012 London Olympics when two Indian wrestlers won medals in the same Games. Ravi Dahiya had earlier won silver in the men's 57 kg category in this Olympic.

Twenty-seven-year-old Punia began his challenge against Kyrgyzstan's Ernazar Akmataliev, defeating him 3-3 after scoring a later point with a smart take-down towards the end of the bout. In the 1/4 final, he enjoyed a successful second period against Morteza Cheka Ghiasi of Iran to win by fall.

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Bajrang is a three-time world championships medallist. He won a bronze in the 2019 World Championships and had won a silver in 2018, both in the 65kg category. He had won a bronze at the world championships in 2013 in the 60 kg category.

He is also the reigning Commonwealth and Asian games champion of the 65kg category, having won the gold medal in 2018 in both the Games. He had won a silver medal in the 61kg category in the CWG and Asiad in 2014 respectively.


(more details awaited)

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021