Bajrang Punia overcame the disappointment of losing the semi-final in the men’s 65kg freestyle category to win the bronze medal by utterly dominating the third seed Daulet Niyazbekov on Saturday.
The first point went to the Indian as the Kazakh was unable to go on the attack after being given a passivity warning.
Punia scored the first point nearing the end of the first period when he sent his opponent out of bounds after a scramble at the edge of the mat. At the end of the first period, he led 2-0. A handy lead but things can go wrong at this point.
Punia, however, didn’t sit back on his laurels and kept attacking in the second period. He was rewarded by a two-pointer when he locked his opponent’s ankle. He then made it a 6-0 advantage within seconds, moving from the leg to the back in an instant.
The Indian then pressed home the advantage to make it 8-0 and that is how it ended.
Bajrang was one of the favourites coming into the event but he is in his first Olympics and for now, he will have to be satisfied with the bronze. This is India’s sixth medal of Tokyo 2020.