Bajrang gets closer to maiden gold at Worlds

Bajrang gets closer to maiden gold at Worlds

Bajrang Punia. PTI File Photo

Living up to the expectations, star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia put himself in contention for a historic World Championship gold medal after quelling a spirited challenge from Alejandro Enrique Valdes Tobier in a tense 65kg semifinal here on Sunday.

The Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medallist ensured himself a second medal at the Worlds, having won a bronze at the 2013 edition.

Celebrated Sushil Kumar is the lone Indian to have won a gold medal at the Worlds, achieving the feat in 2010 in Moscow in the 66kg category.

If Bajrang manages to win gold, it will be a rare achievement to win titles at all major championships in a single season.

Bajrang’s road to the final in Budapest was not easy as he had to use all his mental and physical prowess to down his Cuban opponent (4-3) in the semifinal after overcoming Mongolia’s Tulga Tumur Ochir (5-3) win in the quarterfinals.

There were not many attacking moves in the semifinal with both Bajrang and Tobier mostly using the upper body power. Bajrang opened the scoring with a takedown but the Cuban reduced the margin by pushing the Indian out.