Incheon: Bajrang accounted for a silver and Narsingh Pancham Yadav won a bronze today to cap off India's freestyle wrestling competition on a high with the country earning five medals from the mat, including a gold in the 17th Asian Games.
Bajrang lost 1-3 to Massoud Mahmoud of Iran in the finals of men's 61kg category to settle for a silver while Narsingh got the better of Daisuke Shimada of Japan 3-1 in the men's 74kg division to finish third on the podium at the Dowon Gymnasium here.
(From left to right): Silver medallist Iran's Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolaei, gold medallist Uzbekistan's Rashid Kurbanov and bronze medallists South Korea's Lee Sangkyu and India's Narsingh Pancham Yadav stand on the podium for the award ceremony in the men's freestyle 74 kg wrestling finals event during the 2014 Asian Games at the Dowon Gymnasium in Incheon on Monday. Pic/AFP
Pawan Kumar though went down fighting in his repechage bout in 86kg division to crash out of the event. In the final bout where fortunes ebbed and flowed, the Iranian grabbed the first two points to lead 2-0 at interval.
Bajrang soon made it 2-2 by pinning his opponent down in the beginning of the second half. Massoud once again surged ahead but Narsingh quickly levelled it 4-4 with just 35 seconds to go for the bout.
The Indian, however, failed to capitalise on the advantage even as the Iranian held on to his nerves to earn two more points in the dying seconds of the match to grab the yellow metal.
Narsingh, who has been selected in the absence of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar in 74kg freestyle, prevailed over his stronger Japanese opponent in a hard-fought contest.
Although Narsingh earned the first point, soon the Japanese made it 3-1. The Indian grappler kept coming back from behind throughout the fight. Down 5-7, he came from behind to first level the scores and then earn two more points to have the last laugh.
Earlier, on the way to the finals, Bajrang had beaten Tumenbileg Tuvshintulga of Mongolia 3-1 in the Round of 16 before registering victory by technical superiority 4-1 over Tajikistan's Farkhodi Usmonzoda in the quarters.
The semifinal bout against Japan's Noriyuki Takatsuka turned out to be a neck-to-neck battle. There was little to separate between the two other than the fact that the Japanese was a bit quicker on his feet.