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Tokyo Olympics: Daulet Niyazbekov to face Bajrang Punia in the bronze medal match

Bajrang Punia will face Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan in the bronze medal match.

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia


Ananth Narasimman

Updated: 7 Aug 2021 10:40 AM GMT

Bajrang Punia would be out for redemption as he goes up against Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan. The ace Indian wrestler would be itching to get back into the ring with the aim of eventually landing on the podium in a rather underwhelming end to his campaign compared to his extremely high standards. Bajrang will have to be at his best to have a chance of beating the Kazhakstani who won against Diatta Adama of Senegal.

Diatta Adama is an 8-time African championship gold medal winner and comes into the match a bit above his weight category as he has won most of his bouts in lower weight categories. He lost to Aliyev, Bajrang's eventual semifinal opponent, in the round of 16. The Senegalese should not be counted out as he is capable of causing the biggest upsets on his day but unfortunately it was not his day against Niyazbekov.

The scars of the heartbreaking 2019 world championship loss against Niyazbekov should be fresh on Bajrang's mind and he will look to even the score against the Kazhakstani. The 32-year-old world championship silver medalist came out as one of the biggest threats, with his guile and supreme talent. The former Asian championship gold medalist will look to get on the podium against an opponent whom he has already beaten when it mattered the most. Bajrang will have to perform at a high level till the last minute to have a chance at beating Niyazbekov, due to his aggressive style and lunges, which attacks Bajrang's weak leg defense.

The contest between the Senegalese and the Kazakhstani was all set to be an intense match and was closely watched by 1.5 Billion eyeballs. Niyazbekov dominated the Senegalese as he was able to rely on his vast experience to win, earning an opportunity to face Bajrang Punia in the bronze medal match.

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