Hosts India could not have expected for a better show from their men’s freestyle wrestlers as Bajrang Punia led four out of the five Indians in fray on Saturday into the finals of the Asian Wrestling Championships. Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dhaiya (57kg), Gaurav Baliyan (79kg) and Satyawart Kadian (97kg) will play for gold medal in the evening session on the Day 5. India is all set to create an Asian Championships history.
65kg – Bajrang Punia’s power show on display
Punia once again showed that he is cut above the rest in his category at the Asian level. He literally toyed with his opponents to make it to the finals once again. The defending champion defeated Amirhossein Azim Maghsoudi of Iran by 10-0 margin.
Maghsoudi had won the 2019 Junior World championships but could not match the experience of the Indian champion in the semi-final encounter.
In the finals, Bajrang will be up against t Takuto Otoguro of Japan with an opportunity to avenge his defeat in the 2018 World Championships finals at Otoguro.
Earlier in the quarter-finals, Bajrang got the better of Abbos Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan by 12-2.
57Kg – Brilliant show by Ravi Dahiya enters finals
In a battle between two 2019 World Championships medallists, India’s Ravi Dahiya prevailed over Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan to make it to the Gold medal round. Dahiya won the battle of the champions in a very convincing manner, ousting the triple world medallist Sanayev 7-2.
In the finals Dahiya will meet Hikmatullo Vohidov of Tajikistan. Dahiya will start as favorite against the little know Vohidov.
In the morning session as well the 23-year-old Dahiya showed great skills to first oust 2017 world champion Yuki Takahashi of Japan 14-5 in the opening round and then defeated Mongolian Tugs Batjargal in the quarter-final bout. The Indian champion won the bout by pinning down his opponent as he was leading 6-3.
79kg – Gaurav Baliyan in Finals
Baliyan maintained great composure and showed great skills to enter finals of the non-Olympic 79 category. He won an absolute thriller in the semi-finals against Shinkichi Okui of Japan. Playing his first Senior Asian Championships, Baliyan was down 0-3, but the young Indian maintained his focus and won the bout by 6-5.
Baliyan will play Arsalan Budazhapov of Kazakhstan for the gold in the evening session at 6 PM.
97Kg – Satyawart Kadian wraps semi-final in 45 seconds
On the road of redemption, India’s Kadian made it to the finals of 97kg category. The 2019 Asian bronze medallist defeated Rustam Iskandari of Tajakistan in mere 45 seconds to make to his first Asian Championships final. Kadian will have his task cut out in the final as he will take on Mojtaba Mohammadshafie Goliej of Iran. Goleij is a two time Under-23 World champion and was recently announced the UWW U23 Wrestler of the Year 2019.
Fans can watch the FINALS LIVE on Star Sports First and the unique digital destination for wrestling in India – www.wrestlingtv.in.