World Wrestling Championships 2022: Bajrang Punia wins bronze medal; becomes only Indian to win four medals at event

Indian star wrestler Bajrang Punia won his record fourth World Wrestling Championships medal as the 28-year-old Indian defeated Puerto Ricans Sebastian Viera in the bronze medal match in Belgrade

Press Trust of India September 18, 2022 22:53:24 IST
World Wrestling Championships 2022: Bajrang Punia wins bronze medal; becomes only Indian to win four medals at event

Indian star wrestler Bajrang Punia won his record fourth World Wrestling Championships medal as the 28-year-old Indian defeated Puerto Rican Sebastian Rivera in the bronze medal match in Belgrade on Sunday.  

Bajrang put on a brave display as he twice cut down his rivals lead during the game to win the bout 11-9 in the closing seconds.

After making a quarterfinal exit in the main draw on Saturday, Bajrang Punia qualified for the repechage round as USA’s Yianni Diakomihalis qualified for the gold medal match. The USA’s eventual silver medallist defeated Punia by technical superiority on Saturday.

This was Punia’s fourth medal at the event as the Indian won a silver in 2018 and two bronze (2013, 2019) earlier and is the only Indian to achieve the feat.

India ended it’s Belgrade campaign with two bronze as Vinesh Phogat earlier won bronze medal as well.

Three other Indians (Nisha Dahiya, Sagar Jaglan and Naveen Malik) lost bronze medal matches while Ravi Dahiya disappointed with second round exit.

In the second round of repechage on Sunday, Bajrang defeated Armenia’s Vazgen Tevanyan 7-6 to qualify for the final bout but looked far from impressive.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist struggles continued in the final as his rival Viera quickly took a big lead. However, Bajrang fought back to level the score 6-6 before Rivera made it 8-6 by the end of the first half.

Rivera, however, ran out of steam in the second half and tried to run down the clock. Bajrang made the most of the negative tactics by eventually scoring the winning points with a takedown.

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