Indian at Olympics: Bajrang Punia loses in semi-final, to play for bronze

Tokyo: Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia faced a crushing defeat in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics at the hands of Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan in the men’s freestyle 65kg event on Friday. Aliyev defeated Bajrang 12-5 as the former dominated proceedings from the word go. The Indian grappler will now play the bronze medal match on Saturday.

The Indian grappler might have started the game on a high, but Aliyev’s two-point move gave him a 2-1 lead against Bajrang. He further extended his lead as he took the scoreline to 4-1 with the same set of moves over Bajrang. After the first period, Bajrang trailed 1-4 against Aliyev.

In the second essay, Aliyev came all guns blazing as he went on a point-scoring spree taking the lead of 8-1. Bajrang came back strong and hard registering four points but the Azerbaijani wrestler kept on extending the lead as he went from 9-5 to 12-5 within seconds.

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Earlier in the day, Bajrang won both games comprehensively. Begining his Tokyo 2020 campaign, Bajrang first defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan in the 1/8 Final and then beat Iran’s Morteza Ghiasi Cheka by pinning him down to the mat (victory by fall) in the 1/4 Final.

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