Wrestling World Championships: Bajrang Punia remains in medal pursuit despite semifinal loss

Bajrang, a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, succumbed to a technical superiority (10-0) defeat at the hands of 23-year-old Yianni Diakomihalis of the USA in the 65kg quarterfinal bout.

Punia (L), who has three World Championship medals to his name, will now hope the two-time cadet world champion Diakomihalis reaches the final so that he gets a shot at a bronze medal via the repechage. (File Photo)

Punia (L), who has three World Championship medals to his name, will now hope the two-time cadet world champion Diakomihalis reaches the final so that he gets a shot at a bronze medal via the repechage. (File Photo) | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Bajrang, a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, succumbed to a technical superiority (10-0) defeat at the hands of 23-year-old Yianni Diakomihalis of the USA in the 65kg quarterfinal bout.

Three-time Worlds medallist and Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia (65kg) stayed in the quest for another medal in the World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade on Saturday.

Beginning his journey from the pre-quarterfinals, Bajrang beat two-time Worlds bronze medallist Cuban Alejandro Valdes 5-4 despite picking up an injury (on the top of his head) during the bout.

“Bajrang’s injury happened when heads of the two wrestlers collided,” said coach Sujeet Maan.

Bajrang put on a strap to protect the injury during his next bout but lost to former Pan-American champion John Diakomihalis of the USA 10-0 in the quarterfinals.

The ace Indian wrestler made it to the repechage round when Diakomihalis progressed to the title clash.

Bajrang needs to win two bouts on Sunday in order to claim his fourth Worlds medal.

Sagar Jaglan (74kg) made a good start to his bronze medal hunt by beating Mongolian Suidkhuu Olonbayar 7-3 in the repechage round, but lost to two-time Asian medallist Yones Emami of Iran 6-0 in the bronze medal contest.

Pankaj (61kg) went down fighting 5-4 against Assyi Aitakyn of Kazakhstan in the opening round.

Viky (97kg) lost to Swiss Samuel Scherrer 2-2 on criteria in the first round.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :
Download Sportstar App
Download Sportstar App
 I-DAY SPECIAL: 75 ICONIC SPORTING MOMENTS
Connect With Us