Bajrang Punia became the first Indian to clinch gold in this year’s senior Asian Wrestling Championship. Fighting in the 65kg men’s freestyle category, Bajrang defeated Korea’s Lee Seungchul 6-2 in the final on Saturday to complete the feat.
Bajrang conceded two points in the opening half and thus trailed 0-2 at the break. The 23-year-old grappler from Haryana then made a comeback that saw him not allowing his rival any points while taking three himself. Bajrang was on the attack from that point and added three more points to seal the bout 6-2.
Bajrang was one of the two potential gold medallists fighting for India alongwith Sarita Mor. While the former won, Sarita had to settle for Silver as she lost to Kyrgyztan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova in the women’s 58 kg category. Sarita had climbed down two kilograms for the tournament with Sakshi Malik taking her place in the 60 kg.
On the road to the final, Bajrang had beaten the Uzbekistan’s Sirojiddin Hasanov 4-3 in the qualifiers. He then beat the tournament’s defending champion Meisam Nassiri 7-5.