Deepak Punia settled for the silver medal after losing to world champion Hasan Yazdani by technical superiority in the men's 86 kg category final at the Asian Games 2023 on Saturday.
Playing against his childhood idol Yazdani, who is the two-time Olympic medallist and eight-time World Championships medallist, Deepak lost 10-0 as Yazdani proved too good for him.
Yazdani quickly raced to 8-0 lead as Deepak failed to attempt any attacking move. In the second half, Deepak tried to get hold of Yazdani but the Iranian quickly turned over to complete another takedown and finish the bout.
Nevertheless, the Tokyo Olympian made a splendid comeback after his injury to win the silver medal.
In earlier bouts, Deepak was edgy in his close 3-2 win over Bahrain's Magomed Sharipov in his qualification round but kept getting better with his bouts.
After his qualification round, he dominated Indonesia's Randa Riandesta, winning by technical superiority, and outgunned Japan's Shirai Shota 7-3 in the quarterfinals.
In the last-four stage, he was up against a tough rival in Uzbekistan's Javrail Shapiev but prevailed 4-3.
Meanwhile, Yash Tunir (74kg), Vicky (97kg), and Sumit Malik (125kg) crashed out of the Games without reaching the medal round.
Yash lost by technical superiority to Magomet Evloev from Tajikistan after beating Cambodia's Chheang Chhoeun in his pre-quarterfinal.
Vicky made an exit following his defeat to Kazakhstan's Alisher Yergali while Sumit Malik was ousted when he lost by technical superiority to Kyrgyzstan's Aiaal Lazarev.
Sunil Kumar (87kg), Antim Panghal (53kg), Sonam Malik (62kg), Aman Sehrawat (57kg), and Kiran Bishnoi (76kg) were the other medal winners for India.
In the 2018 edition, India won three medals, including two gold through Bajrang and Vinesh Phogat.