Bajrang Punia went down 16-9 against Japanese opponent Takuto Otoguro in a drama-filled final of the 65kg category at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest to settle for silver. The Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist trailed by five points in the opening minutes of the match but made a comeback, bridging the gap to one point against his teenage opponent. However, the Japanese regained the lost momentum as he eventually won the match by seven points.
Punia, who had earlier won bronze at the competition in 2013, added a second medal at the Worlds to his collection in a season which has seen him win titles at all major championships.
The in-form 24-year-old was a strong contender when he came into the tournament but his road to the final was not an easy one. Bajrang had beaten Alejandro Valdes Tobier of Cuba 4-3 to enter the 65 kg Freestyle final.
Earlier in the competition, Bajrang had secured wins against Roman Asharin by 9-4 in the first round and he went on to defeat Korean Lee Seungchul 4-0. The Indian wrestler on his course to the final faced stiff competition from Tumur Ochir.
Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar is the only Indian so far to have won a gold medal at the Worlds, achieving the feat in 2010 in Moscow in the 66kg category.