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Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya Win a Bronze Medal Each at World Wrestling Championships

World Wrestling Championships 2019: Bajrang Punia beat Mongolian Tumur Ochir to win the bronze medal.

News18 Sports

Updated:September 20, 2019, 9:46 PM IST
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Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya Win a Bronze Medal Each at World Wrestling Championships
Bajrang Punia (L) and Ravi Dahiya won bronze medals at World Championships. (Photo Credit: WFI)

Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan): Bajrang Punia won his third World Championships medal as he bagged a bronze medal with a close 8-7 win over Mongolian Tumur Ochir in Nur-Sultan on Friday.

Bajrang held off a spirited challenge from Ochir who had raced to a 6-0 lead but true to his style, Bajrang ruled the second period with a flurry of moves. With the bronze, Bajrang became the only Indian wrestler to have three medal at the World Championships. The top Indian wrestler had won bronze in the 2013 Worlds in Budapest and a silver last year in Budapest.

Ravi Dahiya also bagged a bronze medal in 57kg freestyle category on his Worlds debut as he beat Atrinagharch 6-3.

This was India's third medal of the championships -- all bronze. Vinesh Phogat had also won a bronze in women's 53 kg event.

The last time India won three medals at the Worlds was in 2013 when Amit Dahiya, Bajrang and Sandeep Tulsi Yadav stood on the podium.

"I will never forget what they did to me. I was so heartbroken that I did not even want to fight for bronze today," Bajrang told PTI, referring to his controversial semifinal defeat against home wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov.

"The whole world saw what they did. I had worked so hard for the World Championship gold. I appeal to the UWW to do something about it.

"My coaches told me medal is a medal so I agreed to compete in this bout. I am glad I gave India third World medal," he added.

Ochir put Bajrang under a lot of pressure from the beginning as he pushed the Indian outside the mat to take the lead. He locked Bajrang's arms to prevent attacks and then effected a four-point throw to lead 6-0.

Bajrang got on board with a counter and true to his style made a superb comeback in the second period. He first erased the deficit and then took lead with a flurry of moves to eventually nail a narrow 8-7 win.

Bajrang had won a silver medal last year and a bronze in the 2013 edition in Budapest.

It was his first tournament of the season where Bajrang did not make the final though he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in this championship.

Asked if he found his defence lacking since he has been trailing in his bouts, Bajrang replied, "No, that's my style. I do well after trailing. I have been doing that for years."

In the run up to the World Championships, he won titles at all four competitions -- Dan Kolov in Bulgaria, Asian Championship in China, Ali Aliev in Russia and Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia.

Last year also, it was only at the Asian Championship in Bishkek where he did not reach the final, finishing with a bronze.

(With PTI Inputs)

 

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