Wrestler Bajrang Punia wins first gold for India
Jakarta, August 19: India’s biggest medal hope in men’s wrestling, Bajrang Punia, delivered on his promise on the first day of the Asian Games. Punia won the gold medal in the 65 kg freestyle wrestling event by beating Japan’s Daichi Takatani 11-8 in the final bout. This is India’s first gold medal of the 2018 Games. Punia first outclassed Uzbekistan’s Sirojiddin Khasanov 13-3, winning by technical superiority. He followed that up with another gallant show in the quarter-final as he subdued Tajikistan’s Abdulqosim Fayziev 12-2 to storm into the last four. He was in his elements again in the semi-final bout as he overpowered Mongolia’s Batmagnai Batchuluun 10-0 to win his third straight bout via technical superiority.
The 24-year old from Haryana’s Jhajjar got the better of Takatani of Japan in a closely fought final bout. Punia sped away to a 6-0 lead before the Japanese wrestler fought back to tie the bout at 6-6. But Punia’s resilience eventually paid off as he put in a great defensive show towards the end of the bout to hold on to a great victory.
All the bouts were an indicator of Punia’s tactical acumen on the mat. He is not the strongest wrestler in the category but the Indian talisman makes up for it with his tactical genius. He had won a silver medal in the 61 kg category in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. In the run up to this year’s event, Punia stamped his class in the 65 kg category by winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast earlier this year. (HT)
Shooting gives India first medal with 10m Air Rifle mixed team bronze
Jakarta, August 19: India opened their account at 2018 Asian Games with a bronze medal in shooting on Sunday, the first day of action of the continental sporting extravaganza being held in Jakarta and Palembang.
Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar won bronze in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event to get India going but finished behind China and Chinese Taipei. The Indian pair shot 429.9 points in the final, while Chinese Taipei bagged the gold with a Games Record of 494.1 points. Favourites China settled for silver with 492.5 points.
Apurvi and Ravi qualified for the final at second position with a score of 835.3 points behind South Korea (836.7 points). Korea finished fourth in the final.
Meanwhile, wrestlers Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Sandeep Tomar (57kg) progressed to their respective quarterfinals. Punia came from 0-3 behind to win the next 13 points for a 13-3 victory by technical superiority over Uzbekistan’s Sirojuddin Khasanov.
Tomar won his 1/8th match against Turkmenistan’s Rustem Nazarov 12-8.
Also, Pawan Kumar won by fall against Cambodia’s Vuthy Heng to reach the Men’s 86kg last-eight stage.
In the quarterfinals, however, Tomar lost 15-9 to Iran’s Reza Atrinagharchi, who failed to reach the final and thus ended the Indian’s chances of a bronze through repechage. But gold-medal favourite Punia defeated Fayziev Abdulqosim of Tajikistan 12-2 by technical superiority to book his place in the men’s 65kg semifinal.
Mausam Khatri also lost his quarterfinal to Ibragimov Magomed of Uzbekistan in men’s 97kg category. Pawan was next on the mat in his 86kg last-eight match, but he was no match for his Iranian opponent Hasan Yazdanicharati, who registered a comprehensive win.
Pawan was lucky to get a shot at bronze after Iran’s Hassan Yazdani entered the 86kg final, and the Indian didn’t disappoint in his first repechage bout as he defeated Indonesia’s Fahriansayah 11-0 to stay in contention. (ToI)