Bajrang Punia, world number one opened India’s medal tally at the Asian Wrestling Championship by clinching the yellow metal in the 65kg freestyle category, defeating Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 in the final on Tuesday in Xi’an, China.
He made a brilliant comeback to beat Okassov from Kazakhstan after initial training of 2-5 at the end of the first period and reached 12-7 in the final to bring India its first medal on the first day of the competition.
He had won the same title back in 2017 but loses to Daichi Takatani in Bishkek the next year and ended up with a bronze medal. Overall it was the fifth medal for the Indian in this tournament.
Before the finals, Bajrang defeated Uzbekistan’s Sirojiddin Khasanov 12-1 in the semi-finals to make it to the gold medal in 65 kg and also he overcame Peyman Biabani of Iran and Charles fern of Sri Lanka to reach the semi-finals.
Praveen Rana who earlier the same day who stormed into the finals lost to Iranian wrestler Bahman Mohammed Teymouri 0.3 in the 79kg category to settle for silver.