Indian wrestling icon Bajrang Punia bagged the bronze medal at the World Wrestling Championships 2022 in Serbia.
Punia got the better of the Puerto Rican wrestler, Sebastian Rivera, as the Indian battled back from a position of disadvantage to come out on top as he sealed an 11-9 victory in the bronze medal bout.
At one point, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist was trailing by half a dozen points as he was down 0-6 before he mounted a sensational comeback.
Punia reached the bronze medal bout after battling his way through the repechage round.
Punia dug deep to come out as the winner of the repechage bout against Armenian grappler Vazgen Tevanyan. The match was an entertaining affair as the Indian icon won 7-6.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games Gold medallist went down to John Michael Diakomihalis in the quarters but advanced to the repechage round as the American booked a spot in the finals of the 65Kg category.
Diakomihalis got the better of Punia on technical superiority as the 23-year-old from the USA won by a score of 10-0.
In the preceding bout, the man from Khudan had beaten Cuban Alejandro Enrique Valdes Tobier by a score of 5-4 in a close contest, which Punia managed to win thanks to his experience at the top of the sport.
With Punia’s triumph, India has picked up two medals in the ongoing edition of the World Championships as he joins Vinesh Phogat, who also picked up a bronze medal in the 53Kg category.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwOUaZcvSBU” width=”942″ height=”530″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe> <p>Phogat beat Sweden wrestler Jonna Malmgren by a score of 8-0 in the playoff to pick up the medal.</p> <p id=Phogat’s knee injury seemed to flare up in the early stages of the event as she held her knee in pain initially, but, she showed incredible tenacity to shrug it off and pick up India’s first medal in Belgrade.
The triple Commonwealth Games champion, Phogat, was upset by Mongolia’s Khulan Batkhuyag in the first round which came as an absolute shock as he was knocked down by a score of 0-7.
But, she stuck to the basics and progressed through the repechage round and made the most of it as she came out of the event in Belgrade with a bronze medal to her name.