Tokyo Olympics: Wrestler Bajrang Punia Loses In Semis, To Compete For Bronze
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia lost the men's 65kg freestyle semi-final 5-12 to Azerbaijan's Haji Aliyev on Friday.
- Bajrang Punia lost his semi-final bout to Azerbaijan's Haji Aliyev
- Bajrang Punia was outplayed in the bout, losing the match 5-12
- Bajrang Punia will now compete in the bronze medal bout on Saturday
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia lost the men's 65kg freestyle semi-finalto Azerbaijan's Haji Aliyev on Friday. Bajrang lost 5-12 in a bout in which Aliyev set the pace. After the first period, Aliyev led 4-1 and it was down to Bajrang to make the moves to reduce the deficit. In the second period, the Azerbaijan wrestler got hold of Bajrang's legs and went on a point-scoring spree to take a 8-1 lead. Bajrang did score four points later in the bout but Aliyev again extended his lead by seven points and eventually won the bout to seal a berth in the gold medal match. Bajrang will now fight for the bronze medal on Saturday.
Bajrang had started the day with a last-gasp win over Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan. The 27-year-old was leading 3-1, going into the last three minutes of his opening bout but Akmataliev took two points in the dying moments of the match to make things interesting.
Despite the scoreline reading 3-3, Bajrang won the bout by virtue of pulling off a higher scoring move that gave him two points.
Bajrang was up against Iran's Morteza Ghiasi in the 1/4 finals, the match was evenly poised with just over a minute remaining. With a lead of 2-1, Bajrang pinned Ghiasi to seal a place in the semis.
It was a disappointing day for the Indian wrestlers as both Bajrang and Seema Bisla failed to make it to the gold medal bout. Seema had lost her opening bout to Sarra Hamdi. She soon found herself out of reckoning for repechage as Hamdi lost her quarterfinal bout.