Bajrang Punia’s perennial leg-defence weakness came to haunt him at the big stage as he lost the men’s freestyle 65kg semifinal to three-time world champion Haji Aliev here on Friday (August 6) and the Indian wrestler will now fight for bronze medal at the Olympic Games on Saturday (August 7). He will face either Senegal’s Adama Diatta or Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov in the medal match.
Punia beginning his Tokyo 2020 campaign, won both games comprehensively. The Indian wrestler first defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan in the 1/8 Final and then beat Iran’s Morteza Ghiasi Cheka by pinning him down to the mat (victory by fall) in the 1/4 Final.
However, Bajrang had to face a crushing defeat in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics at the hands of Rio Olympics bronze-winner Aliev of Azerbaijan who consistently attacked Bajrang’s legs and twice got himself into position from where he could roll the Indian comfortably for easy two-point throws.
Trailing 1-4 after the first period, Bajrang looked for a big attack but Aliev very smartly effected a counter take down, placing his shoulder close to the thighs of Bajrang and threw the Indian for a huge 8-1 lead.
The Azerbaijani was losing steam and Bajrang got two take-downs to reduce the deficit but the required big move never came. Under 30 seconds left in the bout, Bajrang desperately looked for an attack but Aliev did not let him do that by gripping him in strong body-lock.
A dejected and helpless Bajrang fell on the mat, aware that he had lost battle to a superior wrestler.
Bajrang will now fight for bronze. If he manages to win, India will match its best result at the Olympics. Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt had won a silver and a bronze at the 2012 London Games.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Bajrang Punia’s 65kg men’s freestyle wrestling bronze medal match:
When is the timing of Bajrang Punia’s bronze medal match?
The bronze medal match is scheduled for August 7.
What’s the timing of Bajrang Punia’s bronze medal match?
The bronze medal match will kick-off at 3:55pm IST as per the Olympics official website.
What’s the venue of the Bajrang Punia’s bronze medal match?
The bronze medal match will take place at Makuhari Messe Hall.
Where to watch Bajrang Punia’s bronze medal match live?
The match will be aired on Sony TEN 3, Sony TEN 3 HD, Sony TEN 4 and Sony TEN 4 HD will broadcast Tokyo 2020 in regional languages. You can also watch the match on DD Doordarshan channel.
Where to watch Bajrang Punia’s bronze medal match online/live stream?
Live streaming of the Tokyo Olympics wrestling event will be available on SonyLIV website, SonyLIV app, and Jio TV.