Haryana, Apr 23, 2019 : World number one Bajrang Punia made India proud on Tuesday by clinching the country’s first gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 in Xi’an, China, Zeenews reported.
The 24-year-old from Haryana was trailing by 2-5 in the final of the men’s 65kg freestyle category when he rebounded strongly to knock out Asian Games bronze-medallist Sayatbek Okassov of Kazakhstan 12-7 to bag the top honours on the opening day of the ongoing tournament.
In 2017, Punia bagged the same title at the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi while he settled for a bronze medal in 2018 edition after going down against Daichi Takatani of Japan in Bhiskek.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bajrang kicked off his campaign in the men’s 65kg freestyle category of the tournament with a win over Peyman Biabani of Iran.
He then thrashed Sri Lanka’s Charles Fern in the quarter-finals before sealing a crushing 12-1 triumph over Uzbekistan’s Sirojiddin Khasanov to book his place in the gold medal bout.
Meanwhile, Praveen Rana--the other Indian in the fray-- will look to add another gold to India’s tally when he takes on Bahman Mohammad Teymouri of Iran in the final of the men’s 79kg category later in the day.
Rana had earlier defeated Kazakhstan’s Galymzhan Usserbayev 3-2 in the semi-finals.The Indian grappler overcame Yuta Abe of Japan and Mongolia’s Tugs Erdene Denzensharav in his previous rounds.