Asian games: Bajrang Punia Defeated in Semi, To Fight for Bronze Along with Aman Sehrawat

Returning to competitive wrestling after a one-year gap, an under-pressure Bajrang Punia was routed 1-8 by Iran’s Rahman Amouzadkhalili in the semifinals but he stayed in contention for a bronze medal along with compatriot Aman Sehrawat, who was impressive despite his last-four stage defeat at the Asian Games.

An under-cooked Bajrang, who spent a major part of this year protesting against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, began with two easy wins but appeared clueless against the formidable Iranian.

Bajrang was criticised heavily for escaping the selection trials for the Asian Games. It was Vishal Kaliraman who won the trials but he was put as a stand-by in the men’s 65kg category.

Sonam Malik (65kg) and Kiran (76kg) also lost their respective semifinals in the women’s competition to go out of gold medal race as four of the five Indians in action fell at the last-four stage.

Sonam and Kiran did not have to do much in the initial easy rounds but were exposed terribly when they faced better rivals in the semifinals.

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