Bajrang crafted a systematic game plan in which he took an early lead in the opening session and took advantage of counterattacks.
NEW DELHI — India’s Bajrang Punia won the bronze medal in men’s freestyle 65kg wrestling, defeating Kazakhstan’s Niyazbekov 8-0 on points for his maiden Olympic medal.
On Friday, Bajrang, who had lost in the quarterfinals to Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan, came up with a methodical match in which he grabbed an early lead in the first session and capitalized on counterattacks when his Kazakh opponent, a two-time World Championship medalist, went on the offensive.
With Bajrang’s bronze, India now has six medals from the Tokyo Olympics, two silver, and four bronze. With two silver and four bronze medals at the 2012 London Olympics, India tied for the highest medal total in the country’s history.
Congratulatory messages galore for Bajrang Punia
Former Indian Cricketer Venkatesh Prasad congratulated Bajrang and said, “What a bout! Brilliant from Bajrang Punia and a well-deserved Bronze medal. Super Proud!”
The right game plan was implemented, and the momentum was maintained, according to Ridhima Pathak, Presenter at Sony Sports India.
She also congratulated the whole country and the state of Haryana.
Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, described Punia’s win as brilliant and said Bajrang Punia on winning a Bronze medal has made the nation proud.
“What a win! A 8-0 victory!” exclaimed the Congress party while congratulating the wrestler.
Among others, part of an unending list who took to Twitter to congratulate Punia includes actor Akshay Kumar, journalist Sagarika Ghosh, Parliament member Supriya Sule, actress Sonali Bendre Behl.
India’s medal tally at Tokyo Olympics 2020
On Saturday, Neeraj Chopra won Gold in the Men’s Javelin Throw final, giving Independent India its first medal in Athletics. This is India’s seventh medal at Tokyo 2020, making it the country’s best-ever medal tally in a single edition of the Games.
After Abhinav Bindra in Shooting, Neeraj Chopra is India’s second-ever individual gold medalist in the Olympics.
Early on the same day, Indian golfer Aditi Ashok increased Indian hopes for a record golf medal, but Lydia Ko was beaten to bronze by one stroke.
Bajrang Punia’s bronze medal was the sixth for India at the Tokyo Games.
India has won two silver and three bronze medals in Tokyo thus far — Mirabai Chanu and Ravi Dahiya (Silver) and PV Sindhu, Lovlina Borgohain, and the Indian men’s hockey team (Bronze. India is presently ranked 66th in the medal tally for this edition.
The last event featuring Indian participation is on Saturday, August 7. On Sunday, the closing ceremony will take place, with Bajrang serving as India’s flag-bearer.