Deepak Punia’s bid to win a first Asian Championships gold medal came to an end in the final of the men’s 86 kg freestyle wrestling event, on the last day of the competition on Sunday in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The 22-year-old had been in good form in the early rounds, not dropping a single point to get to the summit clash. But the youngster was unable to get past the strong defence of Kazakh grappler Azamat Dauletbekov, who came up with a 6-1 win.

In the 92 kg category, Viky Chahar bagged a bronze medal to help India finish its campaign with 17 medals – Ravi Kumar Dahiya being the only gold medallist.

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Punia started the tournament with an impressive 6-0 win over Mohsen Miryousef Mostafavi Alanjagh of Iran, and then beat South Korea’s Gwanuk Kim 5-0.

The 2019 World Championships silver medallist though was unable to breach Dauletbekov’s defence. The Kazakh was alert to the Indian’s quick leg attacks and countered them with ease, even going on to create a few chances for himself and march to the gold with a 6-1 win.

The loss ended Punia’s hopes of a first gold medal at the continental event, after winning silver last year, and two bronze medals in 2019 and 2020.

Meanwhile, Chahar came up with a tight 5-3 win over Uzbekistan’s Ajiniyaz Saparniyazov to earn a bronze medal.

There were just two medals for India on the day, with Mangal Kadyan coming close to winning a third, but losing 4-6 to Kyrgyzstan’s Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov in the 61 kg bronze medal match.

Yash Tunir lost in an earlier round of the 74 kg event to Uzbek wrestler Ikhtiyor Navruzov (10-11), and Anirudh Kumar lost 4-8 to Korean Yeihyun Jung in the 125 kg category.