Bajrang Punia clinches bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics

Khel NowKhel Now

August 7 2021
Bajrang Punia
(Courtesy : Indian Express)

The 27-year-old has become the second Indian wrestler to win a medal at the 2020 edition of the event.

Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The 27-year-old grappler defeated Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0 in the bronze medal match on Saturday. The Kazakh grappler came through the repechage round after defeating Senegal’s Adama Diatta.

Bajrang Punia has now become the second Indian wrestler to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics as he secured the bronze. His win also secured India’s sixth medal in Tokyo by a 8-0 convincing win. The wrestler was a brilliant performer in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category as he went on to win in a memorable fashion against Niyazbekov, who is ranked third in the world in this weight category.

Road to the bronze medal

Bajrang Punia was a strong medal hope for India when the athletes left for the Tokyo Olympics. He was representing India in men’s freestyle 65 kg category. He made a successful start to his campaign as the 27-year-old defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan in his first match. The game ended in a draw (3-3) but due to more points won on a single move, Bajrang managed to register the victory.

He went onto beat Iran’s Morteza Ghiasi in the 1/4 final. Punia was under pressure for the majority of the clash and under threat of losing it. However, he showed his class by pulling off a remarkable late pinfall success, winning the bout 2-1.

Bajrang Punia had a huge task in front of him as Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev was his next opponent in the semifinals. The 30-year-old grappler is a three-time World Champion and won the Bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Bajrang wins bronze! 🥉 | Tokyo 2020 Highlights

The Indian grappler tried his best but could not turn the tides in his favour. He succumbed to a 5-11 defeat thereby losing the chance to win a gold medal. He entered the bronze medal match with an aim to secure India’s sixth medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Punia began his bronze medal clash in a dominant fashion on August 7. He drew the first blood and did not allow his opponent, Daulet Niyazbekov, to score a single pointl. He won the match 8-0 and as a result, secured the bronze medal in the weight category.

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