World number one Bajrang Punia logged 10 points in a row in the gold medal bout to reclaim his Asian Championship crown, while Praveen Rana settled for silver as India ended the first day with three medals, here Tuesday.
Punia defeated Kazakhstan’s Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 in a nail-biting 65kg men’s free style.
The CWG and Asian Games champion was trailing 2-7 with just 60 seconds to go for the final bell but the unperturbed Indian produced three gut wrench moves and an exposure move to take eight points after he began the attack with a two-point take down.
The Kazkah was visibly tired while Bajrang displayed immense stamina and intelligence under pressure to emerge triumphant.
It is Bajrang’s second gold at the championship, having won one in 2017. Overall, it was the fifth medal for the Indian in this tournament.
With this performance, Bajrang yet again sounded a warning to his opponents that he will be a strong medal contender at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
On his way to the final, Bajrang had conceded just one point.
He defeated Uzbekistan’s Sirojiddin Khasanov 12-1 in the semi-final before winning by technical superiority against Charles Fern of Sri Lanka. He beat Peyman Biabani of Iran 6-0.
Parveen Rana won his first big medal in seven years though he missed out on the top prize. Praveen, who won a bronze in this championship in 2012, lost the 79kg gold medal bout 0-3 to 2017 world championships bronze medallist Bahman Mohammad Teymouri of Iran.
Rana had won a close 3-2 semifinal against Kazakhstan’s Galymzhan Usserbayev.
Satywart Kadian lost to Batzul Ulziisaikhan in the 97kg quarterfinal bout but went on to make the cut after his Mongolian rival reached the final. He won the bronze play-off 8-1 against Haobin Gao of China.
Meanwhile, in the 57kg weight division, Ravi Kumar entered the bronze medal play-off round after winning his repechage against Chia Tso Liu of Taipei 4-0 but lost the medal bout 3-5 to Yuki Takahashi of Japan.
Rajneesh bowed out of the tournament early in 70kg category.