India’s Bajrang Bajrang delighted the home crowd by claiming freestyle wrestling gold on the penultimate day of the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Dehli.
The home favourite was forced to come from behind twice to reach the gold medal, securing a memorable 7-5 win over defending champion Meisam Nasiri of Iran in the quarter-finals.
Bajrang would face the challenge of South Korea’s Lee Seung-chul in the final, with the Indian star securing a 6-2 victory.
Nasiri bounced back from his early loss by coming through the repecharge to eventually beat North Korea’s Kim Kukgwang 7-2 in the first bronze medal match.
Japan’s Masakazu Kamoi clinched the second bronze medal, achieving a technical fall win over Sri Lanka’s Chamara Weerasinghege.
Uzbekistan would emerge as the most successful nation of the day, with their team securing two gold medals.
Bekzod Abdurakhmonov claimed their first victory, as he earned a 6-0 win over Kyrgyzstan’s Muslim Evlaev in the 74kg final.
China’s Zhang Chongyao won bronze with a victory by fall over Panadurage Fernando of Sri Lanka, with the podium completed by Iran’s Bahman Teymouri after a technical fall triumph against Tsubasa Arai of Japan.
Further success for Uzbekistan came in the 97kg freestyle division as Magomed Ibragimov won a tightly fought contest with Iran’s Hossein Shahbazigazvar 6-4.
Bronze medals were earned by Kyrgyzstan’s Magomed Musaev and South Korea’s Seo Minwon, after they earned victories over Mongolia’s Batzul Ulziisaikhan and Japan’s Naoya Akaguma respectively.
Japan were able to celebrate gold in the 57kg event, with Yuki Takahashi winning 7-1 against Mongolia’s Zanabazar Zandanbud.
Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev won 7-2 against Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov of Kyrgyzstan in the first bronze medal match, before Iran’s Reza Atrinagharchi clinched a narrow 5-4 success against South Korea’s Kim Sunggwon.
The final women’s wrestling category was also contested today, with the host nation being denied victory in the gold medal match.
Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova triumphed 6-0 against India’s Sarita Sarita.
Japan’s Katsuki Sakagami secured a podium place by earning a technical fall win over Gulshaharat Talassova of Kazakhstan.
Vietnam’s Dao Thi Huong claimed the final bronze medal, winning 7-0 against Asem Seydametova of Uzbekistan.
The Championships will draw to a close tomorrow with the remaining men’s freestyle events.