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Bajrang Punia’s Turkish connection in Asian Games gold

In taking a 6-0 lead in the first minute, Bajrang Punia unfurled the “Irani” move. An explainer on the anatomy of the move.

Written by Vinay Siwach |
Updated: August 20, 2018 8:51:40 am
bajrang punia gold Bajrang Punia poses with his gold medal after winning freestyle wrestling (65kg) against Japan’s Daichi Takatani. (PTI Photo)

In taking a 6-0 lead in the first minute, Bajrang unfurled the “Irani” move. An explainer on the anatomy of the move

What is the move?
Popularly known as the “Irani” in India’s wrestling circles, it is called Bent Turk, because it originated in Turkey. It involves making a figure “4” at the back of the knee after grabbing the leg and putting the foot at his hips. Using the hook of a bent-elbow, he wraps the chin, making it look like a frame around the face. The trapped leg and the framed face together, the wrestler tries to flip the opponent or expose his chest, which earns him two points. During exposure, the opponent’s spine is bent, giving his body the shape of a bow.

Why is it used?
It is used to rack up quick points. Instead of going to the centre, a wrestler tries to finish the bout quickly. It sometimes results in pinning the opponent, besides tiring him.

As the name suggests, it originated in Turkey. In Turkey’s traditional oil wrestling, a lot of moves include leg locks. The Turkish wrestlers in the 1948 London Games made extensive use of the move and won 12 medals.

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Low-leg: Where the wrestler puts his thigh under one leg of the opponents and lifts him to pin. The hand is not around the chin but pressuring the shoulder to touch the mat

High-leg: The wrestler puts his leg between the thigh and shin of the opponent and keeps holding the foot.

Bent: The trapped leg is between the two legs of the opponent and hands are used to move the upper body of the opponent.

READ | Bajrang Punia’s Asian Games medal is a survivor’s gold

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