Bajrang Punia puts a valiant effort but loses at Madison Square Gardens


Indian wrestler and Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal prospect Bajrang Punia scripted history as he became the first Indian to compete at the hallowed Madison Square Garden. Having been invited by the USA Wrestling in the ‘Grapple at the Garden- Beat the Streets’ event, Bajrang fell short to USA’s Yianni Diakomihalis in the 65kg bout by the scoreline of 8-10.

Bajrang Punia's unbeaten streak came to an end in the hands of a rising American
Bajrang Punia’s unbeaten streak came to an end in the hands of a rising American

“It was a fantastic experience to fight at the Madison Square Garden. The match was very competitive and gave me a few lessons to learn. I can assure that I will come back stronger,” Bajrang told TOI.

Bajrang came on the back of winning two gold medals at the Asian Wrestling Championship in Bangkok and the Ali Aliyev Wrestling tournament in Kaspisk, Russia.

“The fact that I competed in three different continents in three weeks is itself quite challenging. I am thankful for all the support that I have received through this period. I did have the belief that I could do well in these competitions and am pleased with my performances,” further added Bajrang.

His opponent Yanni was full praise of the World No. 1 and was eager to face him again in the near future.

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