Bajrang Punia World Wrestling Championships bronze
Bajrang Punia wins bronze at the World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade on Sunday (September 18). Photo: Twitter/Screengrab

Wrestler Bajrang Punia overcomes head injury to create history

Bajrang Punia, with a bandaged head, became the only Indian to claim four medals at the World Wrestling Championships by clinching a bronze in the current edition, in Belgrade, Serbia on Sunday (September 18).

Bajrang, who won a bronze in last year’s Tokyo Olympics, eked out a close 11-9 win on points over Sebastian C Rivera of Puerto Rico in one of the bronze medal bouts in the 65 kg category.

He had suffered a cut to his head during the opening round and to control bleeding his head was bandaged. And during the entire tournament, he fought with a bandaged head.

Also read: Bajrang, Ravi claim gold medals in Rome Ranking Series wrestling event

Bajrang, who lost to John Michael Diakomihalis of USA in the quarterfinals, qualified for the bronze medal contest through repechage round where he defeated Vazgen Tevanyan of Armenia 7-6 by points.

It is Bajrang’s third bronze at the worlds. The celebrated Indian wrestler had earlier won a bronze at in 2013, silver in 2018 and bronze in 2019.

India had fielded a 30-member team for the ongoing World Championships but produced a below-par performance, securing just two medals.

Also read: Wrestler Deepak Punia named world No.1 in 86 kg category

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya had crashed out early and failed to secure a podium finish.

Besides Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat won her second World Championship bronze medal in the women’s 53kg category. Vinesh had defeated Emma Malmgren of Sweden 8-0 to claim the bronze in Belgrade.

(With Agency inputs)

Read More
Next Story