New Delhi, May 14: India’s Bajrang Punia shined at Asian Wrestling Championship and clinched the first gold medal penultimate day in men's 65kg freestyle on Saturday. Notably, Bajrang Punia registered a come-from-behind victory over Seungchul Lee of Korea and created a history.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sports Minister and several others also congratulated Punia for winning the Gold medal and said the country was proud of his exemplary accomplishment. After registering a fabulous 6-2 win, Bajrang celebrated by taking a victory lap with the tri-colour on his shoulders.
In his summit clash, the 23-year-old Indian conceded 2 points in the opening half to lag behind 0-2 at the break. However, Bajrang made a very strong comeback in the second half, not allowing his rival from Korea to earn any more points. He first pushed his opponent out of the mat to take a point and then took the Korean down for two more to lead 3-2.
From there on, Bajrang displayed an attacking game and never let his rival come back into the contest. He subsequently added three more points to his credit to wrap up the bout in style. After winning the gold, Bajrang said "My strength is my stamina and I played accordingly. I was told by my coaches and mentor to attack more and I followed the strategies well to come out as a winner."
Wrestler Sarita settled for a silver medal. She lost 0-6 to Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the final of women's 58kg category. Indian women wrestlers have registered their best ever performance in the Asian Championship in this edition with six medals, including four silver so far.
On the other side, Three Indian women wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Divya Kakran bagged silver medals in their respective categories in the Asian Wrestling Championship after losing out their final bouts.
Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik lost her final bout against Japan’s Risako Kawai in the 60kg category. Sakshi wrestled for the first time in women's 60kg category after jumping up the weight division from 58kg. Vinesh Phogat lost the final in women's 55kg category and Divya Kakran in 69 Kg to settle with silver medals.
Earlier today Ritu Phogat, in women's 48kg, went down in her semifinal bout to Yui Susaki of Japan 0-9 to lose out on a place in the final but would fight for the bronze medal. Pinki, meanwhile, was the lone Indian to have lost in the quarterfinal round of women's 53kg to bow out of the tournament early.