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.
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.”
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!