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Wrestling

Wrestling 65kg draws out, Bajrang Punia's opponents at Tokyo Olympics

Unlike Vinesh Phogat, the second seed Bajrang Punia seems to have gotten away with a relatively easier draw at the Olympics.

Bajrang Punia
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Bajrang Punia (Source: United World Wrestling)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 5 Aug 2021 7:23 AM GMT

The Indian men's freestyle wrestling star, Bajrang Punia, will face Kyrgyzstan's Ernazar Akmataliev in his first men's 65kg bout at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Unlike the women's star Vinesh Phogat who was handed a tough draw, the second seed Bajrang Punia seems to have gotten away with a relatively easier draw at the Olympics.

The 26-year-old Punia is expected to win his first bout against Akmataliev easily before his real challenge starts.

Looking at the draws, if Bajrang Punia wins his first bout, it is highly likely that he would face Iran's Ghiasi Cheka, who had won bronze in the recently concluded Asian Championships in Almaty, and then the 2019 World Championships silver medallist Daulet Niyazbekov from Kazakhstan.

While it is certainly not going to be easy for Bajrang Punia, he should definitely thank his stars that his main nemesis Takuto Otoguro from Japan, has been drawn in the other half. The Japanese has been the Achilles heel for Punia and has lost to him twice in his career.


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