Asian Wrestling Championship 2019: Bajrang Punia Wins Gold Medal in China; Beats Sayatbek Okassov
Wrestler Bajrang Punia | File Image | (Photo Credits: Twitter)

World number one wrestler Bajrang Punia has made Indian proud as he went on to beat Kazakhstan's Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 and won the gold medal for India. The Indian wrestler started slowly as he was lagging 2-5 in the contest but later made a very strong comeback into the game and was ahead by 12-.7. The Indian wrestler went on to beat Sri Lanka's Fernando in the first round and then faced  Iranian wrestler Peiman Biocaga Biabani 6-0 in the quarter-finals.

The news about Bajrang's victory was shared on social media. "Bajrang Punia you beauty! Bajrang wins 1st GOLD medal for India in Asian Wrestling Championships-2019 after defeating Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 in Final.

What a comeback by the champion as he was trailing 2-5 at end of 1st period," read the tweet.

Besides Sakshi and Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat is another big names who would be vying for top honours during the mega-event. Vinesh will hope to give a good account of herself in the women's 53kg -- a relatively new weight category for her. She had competed for the first time in that category at the UWW Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria and had bagged a silver medal. In the same competition, Bajrang, who was competing in men's 65kg category, clinched a gold.

Sakshi, the bronze winner at the Rio Olympics, also settled for a silver, in women's 65kg, while Pooja Dhanda won the yellow metal in women's 59kg category. At the Asian Championships, Sakshi will go back to her 62kg category, while Navjot Kaur will represent India in women's 65kg.

Pooja Dhanda will fight in 57kg in this tournament. Asian Games bronze medallist Divya Kakran will return to competitive wrestling having recovered from an ankle injury and is all set to compete in women's 68kg category.

National champion Amit Dhankar will participate in men's 74kg in the absence of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who decided to give the Championship a miss. Dhankar is a former Asian Wrestling Championship gold medallist at the 2013 New Delhi edition. Rahul Aware, the wrestler from Maharashtra, is making a comeback to the Indian team and will compete in men's 61kg weight division. In men's freestyle, Praveen Rana (79kg) and Satyavrat Kadian (97kg) are other key wrestlers from India who are expected to finish on the podium. The championships, which concludes on April 28, will see Greco-Roman wrestlers fighting for top honours on the last two days of the competition. The championship will kick start with men's freestyle wrestling competitions, followed by women wrestling.

Squad:

Men's Freestyle: Ravi Kumar (57kg), Rahul Aware (61kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Rajneesh (70kg), Amit Dhankar (74kg), Praveen Rana (79kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Vicky (92kg), Satyavrat Kadian (97kg) and Sumit (125kg).

Women's wrestling: Seema (50kg), Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Lalita Sehrawat (55kg), Pooja Dhanda (57kg), Manju (59kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Navjot Kaur (65kg), Divya Kakran (68kg), Kiran (72kg) and Pooja (76kg).

Greco Roman Style: Manjeet (55kg), Gyanender (60kg), Vikram Kumar (63kg), Ravinder (67kg), Yogesh (72kg), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Hardeep Singh (97kg) and Prem Kumar (130kg).

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