Veer Dev Gulia wins bronze in Junior World Wrestling C’ships

The Indian defeated Yamasaki Yajuro of Japan 8 -5 in the bronze medal play-off bout on Tuesday night.

Veer De Gulia Gulia had made it to the bronze medal play-offs despite losing in the quarterfinals.   -  Marion Stein (Junior World Wrestling Facebook page)

India began its campaign in the Junior World Wrestling championships on a positive note as Veer Dev Gulia bagged a bronze medal on the opening day of the competition in Tampere, Finland.

In the men’s 74kg freestyle, Gulia finished third on the podium after defeating Yamasaki Yajuro of Japan 8 -5 in the bronze medal play-off bout on Tuesday night.

Gulia had made it to the bronze medal play-offs despite losing in the quarterfinals, as his last-eight stage opponent, Isa Shapiev of Uzbekistan, reached the gold medal round of 74kg. Gulia had started well by beating Johann Christoph Steinforth of Germany 6-2 in the pre-quarterfinal stage, but he lost in the quarterfinals 0-11 to the Uzbek wrestler.

But, with Shapiev entering the gold medal round, Gulia got another chance and he took full advantage of it, defeating Ty Stuart Bridgwater of Canada 5-0 in his repechage bout.

However, another Indian Ravinder, who also made it to the bronze medal round in men’s 60kg freestyle, lost out on a third-place finish after going down to Japan’s Hiromu Sakaki 6-9.

Punia in bronze-medal round

On Wednesday, Deepak Punia reached the bronze-medal round after losing his semifinal bout to Zahid Valencia of USA 11-0 in men’s 84kg freestyle category. Punia defeated Javrail Shapiev of Uzbekistan 18-12 in the 1/8 stage, before beating Bendeguz Toth of Hungary 4-0 in his quarterfinal bout.

He, however, went down in the last four stage and will now be fighting for a bronze. Punia will take on Gadzhimurad Magomedsaidov of Azerbaijan for the third-fourth place match later tonight.

Other Indians in the fray today, Bharat Patil (55kg), Karan (66kg) and Mohit (120kg) bowed out of the tournament early.