Bajrang Punia, who is India’s biggest medal hope in men’s wrestling delivered on his commitment on the first day of the Asian Games. Punia won the gold medal in the 65 kg freestyle wrestling event by beating Japan’s Daichi Takatani 11-8 in the final bout.
The start wasn’t the best for the Commonwealth Games gold medallist Punia who was trailing 0-3, but Punia dominated his way back into the game to defeat the Japanese.
The 24-year-old Indian had won three consecutive gold medals – CWG (Gold Coast), Tbilisi Grand Prix (Georgia) and Yasar Dogu International (Istanbul) — ahead of the Asian Games.
En route to his gold medal bout, Bajrang defeated Khasanov Sirojiddin (Uzbekistan), Fayziev Abdulqosim (Tajikistan) and Batchuluun Batmagnai (Mongolia).
Bajrang has been training under the guidance of four-time Olympian Yogeshwar Dutt since his early days as a wrestler.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated wrestler Bajrang Punia for his “memorable” win today in the Asian Games, winning India her first gold medal.
Congratulations @BajrangPunia for the memorable victory in the 65 kg freestyle wrestling. This win is even more special because it is India's first Gold in the @asiangames2018. Best wishes for your future endeavours. #AsianGames2018
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 19, 2018
Meanwhile, Sandeep Tomar made it to the quarterfinals of the 57 kg Freestyle event after a 12-8 win against Turkmenistan’s Rustem Nazarov.
Catch the last one minute of #BajrangPunia's fantastic bout.
What amazing resilience from the Indian. He held on in face of stiff competition and won the 65kg GOLD.
— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) August 19, 2018