Wrestler Bajrang Punia, who bagged the first gold medal for India at the 18th Asian Games in Men’s 65kg freestyle event on Sunday, said that he finally managed to take a revenge from Japan’s Daichi Takatani, who defeated him in the Asian Wrestling Championships.
“Before the match, I only thought of performing my best. Despite losing his bout, Sushil Kumar came to me and said, ‘Don’t worry. Ups and downs happen in wrestling. You just try and do well.’ Your confidence builds up automatically as you go on to win bouts. Few months ago, Daichi Takatani defeated me in the Asian Wrestling Championships in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Today, I have taken my revenge,” Punia told agencies after beating Takatani 11-8 in the final bout.
The 24-year-old played aggressively throughout the game and never allowed his opponent to take a lead. Earlier, Punia had defeated Batmagnai batchuluun of Mongolia by 10-0 in the semi-finals finals and Tajikistan’s Abdulqasim Fayziev in quarterfinals.
Talking about Punia’s win, his coach Emzarious Bentinidis told agencies: “It was a very difficult match, but I never felt that Bajrang will lose this bout. Not even one per cent. He is a very big sportsman and has a bright future. I am really happy with this win.”
Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij also congratulated Punia and offered him cash award of Rs 3 crore.
Earlier this year, Punia had won a gold medal in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast, Australia.