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Bajrang Punia becomes 1st Indian to win 4 medals

Bajrang Punia

With bronze in Belgrade, Bajrang Punia becomes 1st Indian to win 4 medals at the world wrestling championships

Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist and Olympic bronze winner Bajrang Punia claimed the bronze medal in the men’s 65kg on the final day of the World Wrestling Championships 2022, on Sunday and became the only Indian to claim four medals at the World Wrestling Championships.

It was Bajrang Punia’s fourth medal at the world championships. With his silver in 2018 and bronze medals in 2013 and 2019, he was already India’s most successful wrestler at the world championships

Bajrang, who won a bronze in last year’s Tokyo Olympics, eked out a close 11-9 win on points over Sebastian C Rivera of Puerto Rico in one of the bronze medal bouts.

The 28-year-old eventually cut the lead and was trailing 8-9 heading into the last minute of the second period. The Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist then pulled off a two-point takedown in the final 20 seconds to turn the tables and win the bout 10-9.

Bajrang, who previously lost to John Michael Diakomihalis of the USA in the quarterfinals, qualified for the bronze medal contest through the repechage round where he defeated Vazgen Tevanyan of Armenia 7-6 by points.

At the world championships 2022, India had fielded a strong 30-member contingent that involved competitions for men’s and women’s freestyle along with Greco-Roman wrestling. India sent 10 wrestlers for each of the three categories.

Besides Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat won her second World Championship bronze medal in the women’s 53kg category while Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya crashed out early and failed to secure a podium finish.

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