Bajrang Punia wins India’s First Gold at Asian Games

Earlier in the day, we reported the news of shooters Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar winning bronze in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event. They hit the headlines as this was India’s first medal of the ongoing Asian Games 2018, but the spotlight was soon going to be taken away from them.

Upcoming Indian wrestler, Bajrang Punia, snatched the glory from the shooters as he brought home the country’s first gold medal of this major international tournament. He also took away some light from Sushil Kumar, whose powers seem to be fading over the years.

Punia won his maiden Asian Games gold medal, claiming victory in the 65kg category, while Kumar lost his last chance to add an Asiad medal to his rich collection of career medals. He was eliminated in the 74kg category qualification bout itself, losing 3-5 to Bahrain’s Adam Batirov.

Bajrang Punia
Image courtesy: Sportskeeda

Prior to the Asian Games, Punia had won in all of the Commonwealth Games, the Tbilisi Grand Prix, and the Yasar Dogu International. The 24-year old from Haryana beat Japan’s Takatani Daichi in the final today and went on to be crowned champion!

Punia would’ve been mighty proud of his achievement. After the victory, he said, “There are very few gold for Indian wrestlers in Asiad. So it is a big achievement for me. Only Yogeshwar and Rajinder Singh have won two gold medals in a year (CWG and Asiad), I am only the third to do it, so naturally, I am feeling proud of myself.”

It was a mixed bag earlier in the day, as shooters Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma who were expected to do well didn’t perform, while still getting a medal in the sport. Similarly with wrestling, Kumar failed but Team India still opened it’s gold medal’s account for the competition.

This was India’s 2nd medal of the day and they ended Day 1 as the 11th ranked team on the medal’s tally. China have occupied the top rank with 7 golds and a total of 16 medals during the day. They’re expected to finish the tournament at number one too!

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About Dwayne Fernandes 739 Articles
Indian. 23. Management Graduate. Huge cricket fan. Twitter and Instagram - @dwayneeeboy

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