Bajrang Punia earns India's first Gold at Asian Games

August 20, 2018 07:42 AM

Wrestler Bajrang Punia won India's first gold medal the 2018 Asian Games on Sunday. 

Bajrang defeated Japan's Takatani Daichi 11-8 o in the men's 65 kg freestyle final to grab the yellow metal.

This is Bajrang's first gold medal at Asian Games, he had earlier won silver in 2014.

Earlier, Bajrang defeated Fayziev Abdulqosim of Tajikistan in the quarter-finals, after crushing Sirojiddin Khasanov of Uzbekistan on technical superiority in his campaign opener.

Fayziev had thrashed Jindapan Somsak of Thailand by technical superiority (12-2) in the pre-quarterfinals.

Bajrang looked to dominate from the word go, and scored a early lead in the first period. His strong offensive moves earned him a total nine points.

In the second period, Bajrang controlled the match showing his experience in big occasions as he closed out the bout 12-2.

A wrestler is considered winner by technical superiority when he leads by 10 or more points.

Bajrang had earlier struggled agonist Khasanov in the first round. Khasanov had opened up a comfortable 3-0 lead. But the Indian staged a strong comeback by notching up six consecutive points to lead 6-3 at the break.

Bajrang completely dominated the second and final round, scoring seven points within two minutes to take a 13-3 lead which saw him being adjudged the winner due to technical superiority.

Earlier in the day, India's veteran Sushil Kumar suffered a shock defeat in the opening round of the men's 74 kg freestyle category.

Sushil seemed sluggish and off-colour right from the start during a rather lacklustre 3-5 defeat to Adam Batirov of Bahrain. Sushil's hope of winning a medal through repechage round was also dashed when Batirov lost his quarter-final bout.

Apart from Punia, none of the other wrestlers could manage to race to medal contention.

Sandeep Tomar lost in the quarter-final of Men's Freestyle 57kg category, Pawan Kumar lost in the Men's Freestyle 86kg quarter-final while Mausam Khatri produced a horrendous performance to bow out from his opening quarter-final bout in the Men's Freestyle 97kg category.

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