Wrestling World Championships: Bajrang Punia anxious to avoid last-minute slip-ups against Takuto Otoguro in final

Having conceded late points in his quarters and semi-final encounters, Bajrang Punia vows to be more careful against Takuto Otoguro in 65kg final at Wrestling World Championships.

FP Sports October 22, 2018 14:38:39 IST
Wrestling World Championships: Bajrang Punia anxious to avoid last-minute slip-ups against Takuto Otoguro in final

India’s top male wrestler, Bajrang Punia, put himself a step away from winning the country’s second gold medal ever at the at the World Championships after edging past Alejandro Valdes Tobier of Cuba 4-3 in their 65kg freestyle final on Sunday at Budapest’s Papp Laszlo Sportarena.

After the win, Bajrang admitted that he would have to be more careful on conceding points at the fag end of matches. The Indian was leading 4-1 at one point in his semi-final against the Cuban, but allowed his opponent a two-point takedown with 36 seconds left on the clock. This gave him, and the Indian contingent, some anxious moments.

Wrestling World Championships Bajrang Punia anxious to avoid lastminute slipups against Takuto Otoguro in final

Bajrang Punia after winning his semi-final bout against Alejandro Valdes Tobier. Image courtesy: WFI

“I am really relieved after two close bouts. I knew he is a good wrestler, but he was really desperate in the second period. He attacked unexpectedly which helped him gain two points in the last minute,” Punia said from Budapest after his semi-final. “When your opponent is down, he normally goes for an all-out attack in the last minute. I was trying to defend my lead. But I need to be careful about this in the final. I have lost crucial points in the last couple of bouts in the dying seconds and can’t repeat the same,” added Punia.

Earlier, in his quarter-final, the Indian had the upper-hand until the last minute, when he was leading 4-1. But Punia conceded three points to his Mongolian opponent, Tulga Tumur Ochir. He eventually won with a scoreline of 5-3.

The 2013 bronze medal winner said he would definitely go for the gold on Monday, saying, “I want to win gold like Sushil (Kumar). I want to do it for my country and I need all my countrymen’s blessings.”

For the record, India’s only gold at the Worlds came in 2010, courtesy Sushil Kumar.

Bajrang will face Takuto Otoguro of Japan on Monday in the final, who beat Akhmed Chakaev of Russia 15-10 in the other semis.

Asked if he had watch the Japanese grappler in action at the 2018 Worlds, Punia said: “I watched a bit of it after my match. He was overpowering against his Russian rival. I will watch his video and plan how to tackle him along with my coaching staff,” added Punia.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Professional tennis player, former cricketer Ashleigh Barty wins golf tournament in COVID-19 break
Sports

Professional tennis player, former cricketer Ashleigh Barty wins golf tournament in COVID-19 break

Barty proved she has what it takes on a course designed by Greg Norman, claiming the Brookwater Golf Club women's title near Brisbane with a commanding 7 and 5 triumph in the matchplay final.

Italian Open 2020: Simona Halep wins first title in Rome after Karolina Pliskova retires injured
Sports

Italian Open 2020: Simona Halep wins first title in Rome after Karolina Pliskova retires injured

World number two Halep, 28, was competing in her third Rome WTA final, having finished runner-up in 2017 and 2018 on the clay at the Foro Italico.

Karnataka Swimming Association to provide three-month financial relief package worth Rs 15 lakh to coaches, pool staff
Sports

Karnataka Swimming Association to provide three-month financial relief package worth Rs 15 lakh to coaches, pool staff

Calling it a first-of-a-kind initiative by a state governing body for swimming in India, the Karnataka Swimming Association said in a statement that it will provide the monetary assistance through its fundraiser 'KSA Cares.'