Bajrang Punia, India’s power-packed wrestling champion clinched a silver medal in World Wrestling Championships final on Monday held in Budapest. While the whole nation was expecting for a gold medal from the Haryana-based wrestler, Punia had to settle for silver. However, with this medal, Bajrang Punia created a historical benchmark by becoming the 1st Indian to clinch two World Wrestling Championship medals. Punia had earlier won a bronze medal in World Championship 2013.
Punia lost to Takuto Otogoro by 9-16 in the final of the 65 kg freestyle event.
The Japanese wrestler took the lead right from the beginning of the match and consistently attacked the left leg of Indian wrestler, to emerge as a comfortable winner lately.
Speaking from Budapest, this is how Bajrang Punia reacted, “It was so near, yet so far. Having reached the final I expected to win gold, but I will have to be satisfied with a silver medal.” Punia also expressed contentment on his progress thus stating, “I am happy to have bettered my bronze medal effort, achieved five years ago at the same venue.”
Coach Jasminder Singh sounded a bit disappointed and said that it was really not India’s day at Budapest. “Yes we would have all wanted him to win gold, but a silver medal is no mean achievement.”
Earlier, the Indian wrestler knocked off Alejandro Valdes Tobier of Cube by 4-3 to enter the 65-kg freestyle final. Prior to this, Bajrang Punia defeated Tulga Tumur Ochir of Mongolia by 5-3 in a thrilling quarter-final.
Punia’ 2018 journey continues to soar to greater heights as he has already clinched gold medals at the Asian and Commonwealth Games. Also, he is only the fourth Indian to make to the World Championship gold medal match, after Sushil Kumar, Amit Dahiya and Bishambhar Singh.
With this, Sushil Kumar, our country’s first wrestling superstar, is the only Indian to win a gold medal at a World Championship, back in 2010.