Day 6: Bajrang, Sakshi Start Campaign Today
After an action packed Wednesday, Day 6 of the World Wrestling Championships in Kazakhstan will see four Indian wrestlers including top seed Bajrang Punia and Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik start their campaigns.
Pooja Dhanda will also be competing in the bronze medal after she suffered a loss in the semifinal yesterday. A win today will make her the first female wrestler and only second Indian to win two World medals. Only Bajrang Punia has achieved the feat.
On Wednesday, Vinesh Phogat secured Tokyo Olympics qualification and also opened India’s medal tally at the Worlds with a bronze – also her maiden podium finish at the coveted tournament.
Wrestling Championships 2019: Indians in Action on Day 6
- Men’s 65kg: Bajrang Punia vs Krzysztof Bienkowski (Round of 16)
- Men’s 57kg: Ravi Kumar vs Sunggwon Kim (Round of 16)
- Women’s 62kg: Sakshi Malik vs Aminat Adeniyi (Round of 16)
- Women’s 68kg: Divya Kakran vs Sara Dosho (Round of 16)
- Women’s 59kg: Pooja Dhanda vs Xingru Pei (Bronze Medal Match)
Divya Kakran Loses
Asian Games bronze medallist Divya Kakran (68kg) can’t put up much of a fight as she goes down 0-2 in a completely one-sided opening bout against reigning Olympic and former world champion Sara Dosho of Japan.
Kakran still has a chance of entering the repechage round if her opponent makes it to the final.
Bajrang Punia's Opening Bout Underway
Sixty five kg top seed and reigning Asian champion Bajrang Punia's opening bout against fifth seed Krzysztof Bieńkowski is now underway.
The two-time world medallist is eyeing his maiden gold at the championship and also looking to seal a berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Winning Start for Punia!
World no 1 Bajrang Punia starts off his campaign with a 9-2 win over fifth seed Krzysztof Bieńkowski of Poland. After trailing 5-0 at the end of the first period, Punia’s fifth seed opponent managed to get two points for a takedown. But in the final two minutes, Asian champion Punia added another 4 points to book his place in the quarterfinals.
Ravi Kumar Wins Opener
The freestyle men have started strong at the World Championships with Ravi Kumar also now winning his opening bout.
Seeded 25th, Ravi was fighting Kim Sunggwon of Korea and the Indian sealed the victory with a 11-4 scoreline in just 2 minutes and 59 seconds.
There’s just Sakshi Malik’s prelim bout left now in this morning session.
Sakshi's Bout Next
India’s lone Olympic medalist in women’s wrestling Sakshi Malik is in action next in the 62 kg category preliminary round.
She is fighting against Aminat Oluwafunmilayo Adeniyi of Nigeria who’s seeded 23rd, just one spot below her.
Sakshi's Bout Underway
The Olympic bronze medallist is 6-0 down within the first minute of her bout.
She’s produced a solid counter though and picks up 2 points even though her opponent, Aminat Oluwafunmilayo Adeniyi of Nigeria, too collects 2 more.
The score stands at 2-8 after the first period. Three more minutes remaining in this bout.
Sakhi Malik Loses Opener
Lots of hopes riding on India’s lone women’s wrestling Olympic medallist but Sakshi Malik has yet again fallen short.
After trailing 2-8 at the end of the first three minutes of the bout, Sakshi did make a comeback in the second period, picking 5 points. However, her opponent managed to hold onto the lead as the match finished with a 10-7 scoreline to the Nigerian.
Sakshi however isn't out of the tournament yet. If Aminat Oluwafunmilayo Adeniyi reaches the gold medal match then Sakshi has a shot at the Bronze medal through the Repechage rounds.
Bajrang's Bout Underway
Bajrang Punia’s second bout of the day is now underway. The world number one and top seed is fighting David Habat of Slovenia and the Indian has taken a 2-0 lead within the first minute of this 6-minute fight.
At the end of the first period, Bajrang leads 3-0.
Bajrang in Quarters
6 minutes of the bout complete and Bajrang Punia has won his second round match 3-0. The world number one and top seed is through to the quarter-final and is now just two wins away from the gold medal match.
He will be in action in just a little while to seal a berth in the semis.
Ravi's Second Round Match
Ravi Kumar’s 57 kg second round match is underway and he’s fighting 23rd seed Arsen Harutyunyan of Armenia.
Didn't exactly start the bout on the note he would've liked, training 0-6 at one point but the Indian has pulled off a massive turnaround to end the first period of this bout with an 8-6 lead.
Ravi Pulls Off Massive Win
Trailing 0-6 at one point in the bout, Ravi has pulled off a massive victory winning his second round match with resounding 18-6 scoreline.
Quite an upset as well since his opponent Arsen Harutyunyan is also the European Champion in the 61 kg category.
Ravi now fights Yuki Takahashi in a short while for a spot in the semi-finals.
Sakshi Malik's Campaign Ends
No hope of a lifeline for Sakshi Malik as her victor, Aminat Adeniyi of Nigeria, has lost her second round match thus ending Sakshi’s campaign.
Aminat had beaten the Indian Olympic medallist 10-7 in the opening round of the 62kg event but with her loss, Sakhi’s hopes of fighting for a bronze in the Repechage round is now over.
Ravi's Q/F Underway
Ravi is one victory from booking a spot in this evening’s semi-final and he’s up against world number 3 Yuki Takahashi now.
Just a minute into the bout and he’s taken a 2-0 lead courtesy a takedown.
Ravi Bags Olympic Quota!
Having gone under the radar in the lead-up to the Championships, Ravi Kumar Dahiya has announced his arrival on the big stage by beating former World Champion Yuki Takahashi 6-1 in the quarter-finals of the 57kg event.
Ravi himself won the U-23 World Championships in November last year and now, the young star is headed to the Olympics after becoming the second Indian to qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020.
The job is not complete yet though, he will be in action later today in the semi-final for a spot in the gold medal match.
Bajrang Leads 4-1 in Q/F
Just one of those days! Just as Ravi gets off the mat to celebrate his victory, Bajrang Punia has started his quarter-final bout against People's Republic of Korea’s J Son.
After the first 3 minutes of the match, the Indian world number one leads 4-1.
Bajrang Holds His Lead
Just a minute left in the bout and Bajrang holds a 6-1 lead.
A win here assures him of a berth in the Olympics as well.
Bajrang Wins 8-1
The world number 1 is well of his way to winning his second-straight medal at the World Championships!
Bajrang Punia was all class in his quarter-final match as he closed with an 8-1 scoreline.
He’s through to the semi-finals later this afternoon but more importantly, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
2 Semis and Pooja's Bronze Bout
Yes, there’s still a lot more action left today!
Bajrang and Ravi have fought three intense bouts already but they both have one more bout left to fight today. It’s going to be the all-important semi-final that decides if they enter the gold medal match or move into the Repechage round to fight for the bronze tomorrow.
- 65 kg Men’s Semi-final: Bajrang Punia vs Daulet Niyazbekov
- 57 kg Men’s Semi-final: Ravi Kumar Dahiya vs reigning World Champ Zavur Uguev
Pooja Dhanda also is in action today, playing for her second World Championships bronze.
- 59kg Women’s bronze medal match: Pooja Dhanda vs former World Champion Pei Xingru.
Ravi Trails in His Semi-final
Ravi Kumar Dahiya is up against the reigning world champion Zavur Uguev in his semi-final bout and the Indian is trailing 2-6 after the first 2 minutes.
Ravi Loses 4-6
It was a tall task but the young Indian gave it his best shot.
Ravi Kumar has been handed a 4-6 loss by the current world number 2 and reigning world champion. Ravi now fights for the bronze in the Repechage round tomorrow afternoon.
He’s already booked a quota for India at the Tokyo Olympics by reaching the semi-finals.
Bajrang's S/F Underway
Bajrang Punia is fighting Daulet Niyazbekov for a spot in the final and the Kazakh wrestler has taken a 2-0 lead in the first minute.
Bajrang though fights back and snatches 2 points from the 30 -year-old as the first period ends in a 2-2 stalemate.
The Kazakh is awarded 4 points to take a 6-2 lead but India challenge it. It comes down to which of the wrestlers initiated the move at the edge of the mat and judges rule in favour of the local wrestler.
1 point lost here and Bajrang now trails 2-7.
9-4 with 90 Seconds Left
Bajrang is still trailing the local wrestler but he’s managed to pick 2 points more with 90 seconds left in the match.
Bajrang Loses Semi-final
Bajrang Punia has fought his way into the game and the score is now tied at 9-9.
The clock however has run out.
The Kazakh wrestler is celebrating as he’s been awarded the victory by virtue of winning the biggest point in the game - when he picked the contentious 4 points in the first period. In fact, the point was even reviewed by India as the Bajrang camp believed the move was initiated by him and thus, he should've been awarded the 4 points. The judges ruled against him which had cost him an extra one point.
All is not over for the 2-time World Champion. Bajrang will fight for the bronze medal tomorrow.
Pooja's Bronze-Medal Match Underway
A bronze medallist from the 2018 World Championships, Pooja is fighting for another bronze right now and she’s trailing 0-1 at the end of the first period.
She’s up against China’s Pei Xingru and lost the point after being put on the clock for passivity.
Pooja Loses Bronze Medal Match
30 second left on the clock and Pooja was trailing 1-3 when Xingru picked up 2 more points to take a 5-1 lead.
There was a late flourish from Pooja and as the clock ran out, she challenged for 4 points. The referees took a while to give their verdict but in the end awarded the Indian 2 points. Not enough, though as Dhanda misses the chance to become India’s first female wrestler to win two World Championship medals.
She’s lost the bout 3-5.
No Medal on Day 6
Just 3 hours back India was on the cusp of winning three big medals at the World Championships but the evening session at Nur-Sultan hasn’t exactly gone India’s way. In fact, it hasn’t at all.
World number one Bajrang Punia was handed a contentious defeat by local wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov despite coming from behind and tying the score 9-9 by the end of the 6 minutes of the bout.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya ended a few favourites’ campaigns on his way to the semis but in the end, the challenge provided by reigning world champion Zaur Uguev proved a bit too much as he lost 4-6.
Both wrestlers however have qualified for the Olympics by virtue of finishing in the top 6 of their respective categories. They will also be in action tomorrow to fight for the bronze.
Among the women, both Sakhi Malik and Divya Kakran lost their opening round bouts and with their opponents failing to reach the final, their campaigns have now ended without a medal.
Pooja Dhanda was fighting for a bronze in the evening session today but lost 3-5 to Pei Xingru of China in the 59kg category. Pooja was aiming to become the first female Indian wrestler to win multiple World Championship medals. Last year, Dhanda won a bronze in the women's freestyle 57kg weight class which is what she usually competes in but after losing the national trials in the discipline earlier this summer, she chose to compete in a category higher at the Worlds.
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