Nur-Sultan : Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya on Friday won bronze at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships. This is Bajrang’s second consecutive medal at the Worlds and third overall while Dahiya has managed to win bronze in his very first appearance at the senior championships.
Facing Mongolian Tulga Tumur Ochir, Bajrang fought back from a 6-0 deficit to win 8-7 in what turned out to be a thrilling bronze medal bout. Ochir started strong, taking two points in the first 15 seconds and then four more with a chest throw. Bajrang responded with a counter and earned two points and at the end of the first period, the score was 6-2 in the Mongolian’s favour.
However, Bajrang came out all guns blazing in the second period. He managed to get Ochir with a leg shot and collected six successive points to lead 8-6. Ochir got another point for step out but that was all he could manage.
Dahiya on the other hand beat Iran’s reigning Asian champion Reza Atri 6-3 to win his maiden Worlds medal. Dahiya took a two-point lead into the interval which he won early on in the bout. He continued to attack his opponent in the second period and took the game 6-3.
Both Bajrang and Dahiya had sealed a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by qualifying for the bronze medal round. This took India’s haul to three medals at Nur-Sultan with Vinesh Phogat winning bronze in the women’s 53kg. The last time India won as many medals was in the 2013 World Championships and one more can make this the country’s best performance in the tournament.