2019 World Wrestling Championships: Bajrang Punia clinches bronze medal
India's ace wrestler and World no. 1 Bajrang Punia (65kg) wins bronze medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships beating Mongolia's Tulga Tumur Ochir.
The Mongolian grabbed a quick two-point in the beginning. He followed it up with four-point roll but Bajrang regained controlled and pulled down Ochir to make it 2-6 at the end of the first period. Bajrang started aggressively the second period and pulled off a comeback as he rolled down the Mongolian to win three successive two-point moves and earned a lead of 8-6. Ochir picked up one point with a second left in the clock, however, Bajrang had the last laugh with a narrow lead.
Bajrang, who was headed into World Championships as the favourite, was riding on a wave of success as he struck gold medals in all the tournaments he participated in 2019.
The top-seeded kicked off his campaign with a 9-2 win over Poland’s Krzysztof Bienkowski. The Indian went on to beat Germany's David Habat 3-0 in the pre-quarterfinals. In the quarter-finals, the ace Indian eased past North Korea’s Jong Choi Son 8-1 to secure an Olympic quota in the men’s 65kg event. However, his dreams came crashing down in the semi-final against Kazak wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov. Despite a scoreline of 9-9, Bajrang was eliminated as the result came down to the 4-point hold that went in favour of Daulet Niyazbekov at the start of the second period.
Though Bajrang remains eluded by the coveted gold medal at the Worlds, Bajrang became the first Indian to win a record three medals at the event -- a bronze in 2013 and the silver medal in 2018. Bajrang, along with female wrestler Vinesh Phoghat (53kg) and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg) earned 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth for India.