Since winning the first bronze at the world wrestling Championship in 2013, Bajrang has won four medals at his event till now, the most by any Indian in World Wrestling Championships.
On Sunday, Ace Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia beat Sebastian C. Rivera of Puerto Rico by 11-9 in the bronze medal bout of 65 kgs at the ongoing World Wrestling Championships 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia. This is Punia’s third bronze after having won in 2013 and 2019. He had also won a silver at the 2018 Championships.
With this bronze medal, Punia became the only Indian to win four medals at the world wrestling championships.
Another Bronze 🥉 for 🇮🇳 at #WrestleBelgrade !@BajrangPunia clinched a bronze medal at Wrestling World Championship 2022, Serbia in men’s 65 kg freestyle. He is a proud member of the railway family. pic.twitter.com/xq4tlBVbOB— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 19, 2022
Rivera wasn’t an easy opponent as he was coming as a silver medalist in Pan American Championship. Within the first 30 seconds, the Peurto Rican had taken a healthy 6-0 lead over Punia. Bajrang did take some time to come into the groove but after that, there was no looking back for him.
Punia gave it back with a four-pointer move first and then took the opponents down to equal the scores. Then again, Rivera took the 8-6 lead with his move but this didn’t discourage Punia and he ended the bout with a score of 10-9.
It was not an easy bout for the Khudan born as Punia had suffered a head injury in an earlier bout on Saturday against Cuban Alejandro Enrique Valdes Tobier. Given the fighter he is, Bajrang won the bout and the following one to claim the bronze.
This year otherwise had been a disappointment for the Indian wrestling contingent as they won only two medals out of the 30 who participated in the championships. Earlier it was Vinesh Phogat who had claimed the bronze in the 53 kg bout through a repechage. She had defeated Emma Jonna Malmgren of Sweden by 8-0.
Another badge in Bajrang Punia’s long list of achievement
Bajrang Punia has been one of the most decorated wrestlers from India. He has won it all. Since winning the first bronze at the world wrestling Championship in 2013, Bajrang has won four medals at his event till now, the most by any Indian in World Wrestling Championships. He also claimed the bronze in Tokyo Olympics last year.
Apart from these, he has won Silver and two Golds in Commonwealth Games games including the one he clinched this year by totally dominating the opponents. The 28 years old has also won Gold and silver in the Asian games.