Wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday defeated Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov to win the bronze medal in men’s freestyle 65 kg category at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Punia won the sixth medal for India at the Games this year, and the fourth bronze for the nation.
India has equalled its tally of six medals recorded at the London Olympics 2012. In the ongoing Tokyo 2020, Mirabai Chanu (silver), PV Sindhu (bronze), Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), men’s hockey team ( bronze), and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (silver) have also won medals.
In the match between Punia and Niyazbekov, the former went on to take a 2-0 lead in the first period and all the pressure was on the Kazakh opponent heading into the last three minutes.
In the final three minutes, Bajrang managed to hold his own and he kept his opponent at bay walking away with a bronze medal.
On Friday, Punia had faced a crushing defeat in the semifinals at the hands of Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan. Aliyev defeated Bajrang 12-5 as the former dominated proceedings from the word go.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Punia and congratulated him for bringing bronze home. He also lauded the grappler for his determination and hard work.