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Wrestling

Whom will wrestler Bajrang Punia face in the semifinal of the Tokyo Olympics?

Bajrang Punia won two hard-fought bouts to qualify for the quarterfinal. But, whom will he face in the semifinal?

Bajrang Punia vs Haji Aliyev in the semifinal
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Bajrang Punia will face Haji Aliyev in the semifinal at Tokyo Olympics (Source United World Wrestling)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 6 Aug 2021 7:04 AM GMT

Bajrang Punia has made his way into the semifinal of the Tokyo Olympics in Men's 65kg freestyle wrestling.

The 27-year-old defeated Kyrgyzstan's Ernazar Akmataliev in the pre-quarterfinal, thanks to his higher move in the dying moments of the first half after the scores were tied at 3-3.

The quarterfinal was not easy for Bajrang Punia either but managed to take advantage of the Iranian Morteza Ghisai Cheka's carelessness to pin him down and qualify for the semifinal via a victory by fall.


Who will Bajrang Punia face in the semifinal?

Bajrang Punia will be up against Azerbaijan's Haji Aliyev in the semifinal.

Aliyev is one of the most feared wrestlers in the men's 65kg freestyle and will prove to be a big thorn in Bajrang's aim of qualifying for the Olympic final.

The Azerbaijani is a multiple-time World Champion, albeit in the 61kg category and even has an Olympic bronze in the 57kg against his name. The 30-year-old is the reigning European champion in 65kg and had won the bronze at the Individual World Cup in Belgrade last year.

It is tough to predict who will take this bout home as Bajrang Punia and Haji Aliyev have never faced each other in their career.

But, this for sure is going to be a mouthwatering contest.

Click here to follow our LIVE updates from this semifinal bout, which will start at 2:45 pm IST.


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