Defending champion Bajrang Punia settled for a bronze in men’s 65kg freestyle as Indian grapplers bagged two medals on the penultimate day of the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Saturday.
Vinod Kumar Omprakash won the other bronze medal in the men’s 70kg freestyle. The two medals took India’s tally to eight—gold and silver each with six bronze medals.
Bajrang, who won gold in the 2017 edition in New Delhi, lost 5-7 in the quarterfinals against Daichi Takatani of Japan. But the 24-year-old Haryana wrestler got the chance to play in the repechage round after his conqueror reached the final.
Bajrang first accounted for Abdulqosim Fayziev of Tajikistan 12-2 in the repechage round and then beat Yones Aliakbar Emamichoghaei of Iran 10-4 in the bronze medal play-off.
Vinod Kumar also lost in the quarterfinals (3-6) against Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan but was given a lifeline for a medal after his victor reached the final. The Indian was adjudged the bronze medal winner against Elaman Dogdurbek Uulu of Kyrgyzstan by virtue of scoring the last points in a 3-3 thriller.
Earlier on Friday, Navjot Kaur had scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold in the senior continental championship as she clinched the yellow metal in the 65kg freestyle category.
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik won a bronze in the 62kg freestyle category.