Tokyo Games: Bajrang Punia became the sixth Indian wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics.© AFP
Bajrang Punia joined a long list of Indian wrestlers to win a medal at the Olympics, clinching a bronze at the Tokyo Gameson Saturday. Bajrang beat Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0 in men’s 65kg freestyle bronze bout to become the sixth Indian wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics, country’s 7th medal overall in the sport. The Indian wrestler went into the Tokyo Games as one of the country’s best bets to win a gold medal but a loss to Haji Aliyevof Azerbaijan in the semi-finals ended that dream.
Bajrang, however, bounced back in style on Saturday, completely dominating his Kazakh opponent in the bronze medal match to win the country’s sixth medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Bajrang had lost to the Kazakh wrestler in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Championships but this time around didn’t give Niyazbekov even a sniff.
Unlike his previous bouts in Tokyo, Bajrang looked like a man on a mission. He was more aggressive from the outset and made all the moves.
His opponent was given a passivity warning and failed to do anything about it as Bajrang took a 1-0 lead. That point only seemed egg him on as Bajrang pushed Niyazbekov out of bounds to double his lead.
In the second period, it was all one way traffic as the Kazakh went for the juggler, trying to win some points but that only opened him to more attacks from Bajrang and the Indian wrestler made it count, thrice winning 2 points to extend his lead to 8-0.
With Bajrang’s bronze, India equalled its record haul of medals at the Olympics, matching London Games tally of six.
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