Indian wrestler Deepak Punia pulled out of the World Championship finale against Iranian great Hazsan Yazdani due to an ankle injury sustained during the semifinal bout on Sunday (September 22) in Nur-sultan (Kazakhstan).
The young wrestler had come out of the mat limping and with a swollen right eye after his semifinal clash against Switzerland’s Stefan Reichmuth on Saturday (September 21).
“The left foot is not taking the load. It’s difficult to fight in this condition. I know it was a big chance to fight against Yazdani but I can’t help it,” Deepak told PTI.
The 20-year-old Indian will have to be content with a silver medal in his debut senior world championship.
In a dream run, Deepak reached the final with wins over Reichmuth, Colombia’s Carlos Arturo Mendez and Kazakhstan’s Adilet Davlumbayev.
It was a good draw for Deepak and he exploited it to get the biggest medal of his career. Only last year, he had won the junior world championship title.
Sushil Kumar remains India’s only world champion. He had won a gold in 66kg in 2010 World Championship in Moscow.
Rahul Aware will fight for a bronze medal in 61kg later on Sunday.
(With inputs from agencies)