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Wrestling

World Wrestling Championships: Bajrang Punia wins bronze; India ends with two medals

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia redeemed himself at World Wrestling Championships by winning a bronze medal in the 65 kg category.

Bajrang Punia
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Bajrang Punia
By

Pritish Raj

Published: 18 Sep 2022 5:09 PM GMT

Bajrang Punia won India's second medal at the 2022 World Wrestling Championships after defeating Sebastian Rivera of Puerto Rico 11-9 in the bronze medal bout.

Bajrang who lost to John Diakomihalis of the USA in the quarter-finals, won a close-fought repechage bout against Vazgen Tevanyan of Armenia to set up his bronze medal bout with Sebastian.

Bajrang started his campaign with a head injury in his first bout, looked off-colour throughout the tournament but used his experience in the crucial moments to overcome his opponents and win the medal for India.

The Olympic bronze medallist came from 0-6 down in the bronze medal playoff to earn a place on the podium with a 11-9 win.

This is the fourth medal of Bajrang Punia at World Wrestling Championships. Bajrang won bronze in 2013, silver in 2018 and again bronze in 2019. Bajrang Punia is the only Indian wrestler with four medals at the global event.

India closed their World Wrestling campaign with two bronze medals with Vinesh Phogat winning in the 53 kg category and Bajrang Punia in the 65 kg category.

Nisha Dahiya (68 kg), Sagar Jaglan (74 kg) and Naveen Malik (70 kg) came close to the bronze medal but they lost their respective medal bouts.

Ravi Dahiya faced a shock exit early in the tournament and didn't get a chance through a repechage like Vinesh and Bajrang. Vinesh faced a shocking defeat in the qualification round to a low-ranked Khulan Batkhyag of Mongolia who eventually won the silver medal.

India sent a total of thirty wrestlers across thirty categories of Geco-roman, freestyle and women's wrestling for the championships.

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