Tokyo Olympics Wrestling: Bajrang Punia falters in semifinal, will aim for bronze medal

Bajrang Punia has failed to secured India's sixth medal at the Tokyo Olympics as he failed to enter the final of the 65kg freestyle wrestling event.

Bajrang Punia
Bajrang Punia

Bajrang Punia has lost his semifinal bout at the Tokyo Olympics ending India’s hopes for a gold medal in wrestling. Punia went down to Rio Games bronze medalist Uzbekistan’s Haji Aliyev in the second semifinal. The Indian lost the bout on points with a scoreline of 12-5.

Both the grapplers started off the first period with caution, gauging their opponents. Haji was the first to lose a point as it was awarded to the Indian due to passivity. The Rio Olympics bronze medalist came roaring back to take two points on a takedown with a single-leg attack as he finished the period in a lead.

Bajrang Punia

Bajrang Punia
Bajrang Punia

Haji resumed the second period where he left off in the first three minutes taking four crucial points on a takedown. Bajrang vyed to fight back but managed only four points while the Azerbaijan grappler continued to chip away at the Indian with pushouts before reversing Bajrang’s attack to score a takedown. And that proved to be the final nail in the coffin.

Punia defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Krygyzstan in his opening bout. It was a victory for Punia despite a tie on points, since he had taken Akmataliev down and scored 2 points in one go, he won with victory by points. He then toppled Iran’s Morteza Cheka Ghiasi in the quarterfinal to reach the semis.

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