India’s big medal hope, Bajrang Punia has reached the finals of men’s 65 kg Freestyle event in style by defeating his Mongolian opponent through technical superiority (10-0) at 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
With this win, Bajrang has assured India of atleast a silver medal but he will be eyeing a historical gold medal for the country. He will be up against the Japan’s Daichi Takatani in the final, who won his semifinal’s match against Kazakhstan’s Okassov in a thriller by 4-4.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Bajrang started the proceedings with an attacking approach and targeted his opponents leg time and again, and didn’t allow any points till the very end.
The Mongolian had lost steam, as Bajrang raced to a 10-0 win to make it to the finals by technical superiority.
The 24-year old from Haryana’s Jhajjar district is now just one victory away from giving India its first gold medal of the Games. He will get back on the mat for his Gold medal bout from 6 pm onwards (IST) (According to Asian Games Official Website).
Earlier, Punia first outclassed Uzbekistan’s Sirojiddin Khasanov 13-3 in the opening round, winning by technical superiority. He followed that up with another gallant show in the quarter-final as he subdued Tajikistan’s Abdulqosim Fayziev 12-2 to storm into the last four.
Mentored by Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, Punia has had a superb 2018 with a hat-trick of gold medals in his kitty already.
However, it was a disappointing day for other wrestlers as veteran wrestler Sushil Kumar lost in the first round of the 74 kg category to Adam Batirov of Bahrain 3-5 in a closely fought match.
Sandeep Tomar lost his quarter-finals bout to Reza Atrinagharchi of Iran in the quarter-final. Mausam Khatri wrestling in men’s 97kg category lost his quarter-final to Ibragimov Magomed of Uzbekistan 0-8.
Pawan kumar also lost his quarter-final bout rather tamely, 0-11, to Iran’s Hassan Yazdanicharati. Although, he will get another shot at bronze medal through repechage as his opponent reached the finals of his respective weight category.