Wrestler Bajrang Punia beat Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov to win the bronze medal in the men’s 65kg Freestyle category. It was India’s sixth medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, equaling the country’s best-ever haul that was achieved at the 2012 London Games. Punia beat his opponent 8-0 to clinch the bronze medal. Social media erupted in praise of the 27-year-old from Haryana after his medal-winning heroics. Former India cricketers Anil Kumble and Virender Sehwag were among the first to react, as was boxer Vijender Singh.
“Jai Bajrang Bali,” Sehwag wrote in his tweet. “Shaabaash @BajrangPunia on winning the Bronze. Brilliant,” he added.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 7, 2021
“Congratulations,” Kumble wrote.
“Congratulations @BajrangPunia finally you made it proud of you,” Vijender Singh tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hailed the star wrestler for his efforts. “Delightful news from #Tokyo2020! Spectacularly fought @BajrangPunia. Congratulations to you for your accomplishment, which makes every Indian proud and happy,” PM Modi tweeted.
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2021
“Congratulations @BajrangPunia on winning the bronze. That was pure domination,” India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik tweeted.
“Super Duper ….And @bajrangpunia does India proud. Absolutely brilliant from #BajrangPunia to win 8-0 and win the #Bronze match,” former India batsman VVS Laxman wrote.
Fellow Olympic medal-winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt tweeted that it’s a moment of pride for the entire nation.
Bajrang Punia had fought well to make it to the semi-finals, but was defeated by Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev. However, his victory against Niyazbekov ensured he did not return from Tokyo empty-handed.
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