Bajrang Punia claims bronze at World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade

Earlier, Olympic medallist wrestler picked up a head injury in the press-quarterfinal bout and lost the fight against American John Diakomihalis in the last eight.

Aakash SrivastavaAuthor

Updated - 19 September 2022 10:00 AM

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Bajrang Punia claimed bronze at World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade after making a strong return from being 0-6 down against Sebastian Rivera of Puerto Rico. Earlier, Olympic medallist Indian wrestler picked up a head injury in the press-quarterfinal bout and lost the fight against American John Diakomihalis in the last eight. 

But Bajrang made a strong comeback to the medal contention on Saturday as he rallied from 0-4 down to register a hard-fought 7-6 victory over Individual World Cup winner and World under-23 silver medalist Vazgen Tevanyan of Armenia in the repechage round. 

Notably, Bajrang's fourth medal at the World Championships was also India's second medal in the ongoing event after Vinesh Phogat won bronze in the women's 53kg competition earlier. She scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win two medals at the tournament after defeating Emma Jonna Malmgren of Sweden by 8-0.

Bajrang has three World Championship medals to his name as he won silver at the 2018 edition in Budapest. He bagged bronze medals in the years 2013 and 2019, respectively. Meanwhile, Sagar Jaglan's quest for a bronze medal in 74kg ended as the young prodigy lost to reigning Asian Champion Yones Aliakbar Emami of Iran 6-0. 

World under-20 bronze medalist had earlier defeated Suldkhuu Olonbayar of Mongolia 7-3 to move to the bronze medal bout. He had entered the repechage on Friday after suffering a quarterfinal defeat to three-time world champion winner Kyle Dake of the USA. Indian wrestlers have been disappointed in this edition of the World Championships with only Vinesh Phogat winning a bronze medal so far.

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