Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia creates history after clinching first gold medal for India at Asian Games 2018 in men’s 65 kg freestyle wrestling event.
The 24-year old from Haryana’s Jhajjar district, who won a silver medal in the 61 kg category in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, got one better this time after defeating Japan’s Daichi Takatani in the thrilling final by 11-8.
Bajrang got to a flying start by winning 6 points in a flash and it looked like an easy task for the Commonwealth Games Champion but Japanese wrestler came back strongly to tie the things by 6-6. Both the wrestlers went neck to neck after that but the Indian held his nerves in the crucial dying moments to give country it’s first gold medal of the 2018 Asiad.
All bouts today have been an indicator of Punia’s tactical acumen on the mat. He is not the strongest wrestler in the category but the Indian talisman makes up for it with his tactical genius.
Mentored by Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, Punia has had a superb 2018 with a hat-trick of gold medals before the Asiad and this gold will work as a moral booster with World Wrestling Championship and Tokyo Olympics 2020 lined up.
Punia got to the final with three incredible performances. He first outclassed Uzbekistan’s Sirojiddin Khasanov 13-3, winning by technical superiority, followed by another gallant show in the quarter-final as he dominated Tajikistan’s Abdulqosim Fayziev 12-2 to storm into the last four.
He was in his elements again in the semi-final bout as he overpowered Mongolia’s Batmagnai Batchuluun 10-0 to win his third straight bout via technical superiority.
Pawan kumar, who lost his quarter-final bout rather tamely, 0-11, to Iran’s Hassan Yazdanicharati, will get another shot at bronze medal through repechage as his opponent reached the finals of his respective weight category.