With a mighty back flip, Deepak Punia celebrated winning bronze in the Wrestling Under-20 World Championships on Saturday in Amman, Jordan.
In the only medal won by an Indian on the day, Punia beat Georgia’s Tornike Mikeladze 4-2 in the bronze medal match of the men’s Greco-Roman 77kg event, giving the country a 12th medal at the ongoing competition.
Earlier in the tournament, Mohit Kumar won India’s first gold medal in the 61kg men’s freestyle event, while Sagar Jaglan (79kg) won silver and Deepak Chahl (97kg) and Rajat Ruhal (127kg) claimed the bronze.
In women’s freestyle, Priya Malik won the 76kg title, Savita won in 62kg while Antim Panghal became the first Indian woman to win consecutive Under-20 World Championships gold medals. Antim Kundu, in the 65kg event, won silver while Reena (57kg), Arju (68kg) and Harshita (72kg) won bronze.
There was a chance for a 13th medal as well, but Sandeep lost his bronze-medal bout in the men’s Greco-Roman 63kg event to Komei Sawada of Japan on Saturday.
Punia had started his campaign in the 77kg event with a 3-1 win over Martin Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the qualification round before losing to Iran’s Alireza Morad Abdevali 8-0 in the Round of 16. Since the Iranian made it to the final, eventually winning the gold, Punia was eligible to compete in the repechage rounds.
He beat quarter-finalist Ibrahim Tabaev of Belgium 6-3 to set up the bronze medal match against Mikeladze.
India’s current tally of medals stands at four gold, two silver and six bronze medals, heading into the final day of the competition.