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Tokyo Olympics: Wrestler Bajrang Punia enters semis in 65kg category

India's hope of winning another medal in wrestling continues to be alive at the Tokyo Olympics, as Bajrang Punia has managed to enter the semi-final in the 65kg category.

Tokyo Olympics: Wrestler Bajrang Punia enters semis in 65kg category-ayh
Tokyo, First Published Aug 6, 2021, 10:12 AM IST

India is still hopeful of winning another medal in wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, it is Bajrang Punia who has entered the semis of the 65kg category on Friday.

Punia began his day in the pre-quarters when he took on Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgystan. Although both were locked 3-3, the Indian qualified based on the higher point-scoring criteria.

Although the Kyrgyz was on top, as he defended well with his upper body, Punia remained aggressive. Meanwhile, the Indian was awarded his first point following a shot clock against Akmataliev.

The Kyrgyz was quick to get one back and level the score. However, he slipped in the final few seconds of the opening round, as Punia took advantage of it to gain a two-point lead via takedown.

ALSO READ: Tokyo Olympics: Wrestler Seema Bisla knocked out in 50kg pre-quarters by Sarra Hamdi

The Indian claimed another point early in the final round. However, Akmataliev pushed Punia out of the mat on a couple of occasions to level terms at the end of the round. At the same time, the Indian qualified based on point-scoring criteria.

He was up against Morteza Ghiasi of Iran in the quarters, whom he defeated narrowly 2-1. He was initially rusty and conceded a point to the Iranian, courtesy of the shot clock.

In the final round, Punia was again warned by the referee regarding passivity. However, the Indian held his nerve and displayed his class by holding Ghiasi's right leg and defending adequately.

It was followed by a brilliant takedown from Punia, as he pinned the Iranian to claim a couple of points and lead, while it was enough to seem him through to the semis. Meanwhile, he would have a tough job in the semis, facing Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan.

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