Heartbroken Bajrang Punia fights back, Ravi Dahiya delivers too

Updated: Sep 21, 2019, 18:34 IST | PTI

Bajrang (65kg) bags a historic third medal at Worlds, while Ravi (57kg) wins third spot in maiden appearance

India's Bajrang Punia (right) and Ravi Dahiya with their bronze medals in Kazakhstan yesterday. Pic/PTI
India's Bajrang Punia (right) and Ravi Dahiya with their bronze medals in Kazakhstan yesterday. Pic/PTI

Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan): Shrugging off his controversial semi-final defeat, Bajrang Punia (65kg) bagged his third World Championships medal while Ravi Dahiya (57kg) made his debut memorable by grabbing a bronze here yesterday.Bajrang was already India's only multiple-medallist at the Worlds and he consolidated his record with his narrow 8-7 win over Mongloia's Tulga Tumur Ochir, the under-23 Asian champion.

Bajrang held off a spirited challenge from Ochir, who had raced to a 6-0 lead but true to his style, the Indian ruled the second period with a flurry
of moves.

'Wanted to fight for gold'

He had won a silver medal last year and a bronze in the 2013 edition in Budapest. It was Bajrang's first tournament of the season where he did not make the final though he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in this championships. "I will never forget what they did to me. I was so heartbroken that I did not even want to fight for bronze today," Bajrang said, referring to his controversial semi-final defeat against home wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov."The whole world saw what they did. I had worked so hard for the World Championship gold. I appeal to the UWW to do something about it.

"My coaches told me medal is a medal so I agreed to compete in this bout. I am glad I gave India third World medal," he added.

Ravi's stunning debut

Ravi was up against Reza Ahmadali Atrinagharchi, the reigning Asian champion from Iran, and capped his stunning debut with a 6-3 win in the bronze medal bout. "I have achieved what I wanted. I have an Olympic quota and a medal too. I have gained a lot of experience. I will get better," said Ravi, son of a farmer from Nahri Village in Sonepat district in Haryana.

Yogeshwar slams umpiring standards

New Delhi: Following Bajrang Punia's controversial loss in the semi-finals of the World Wrestling Championships, star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has questioned the umpiring standards at the ongoing event. On Thursday, Punia lost his semi-final bout against local wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov in a rather controversial manner after securing the quota for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "Anyone who saw the semi-final bout between Bajrang and Niyazbekov can clearly distinguish between right and wrong. Then why didn't the umpires sitting there saw that? How could such a mistake take place in a big tournament like World Championships? Kazakhastan didn't play according to the rules," tweeted Dutt in Hindi.

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