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Bajrang Punia Takes 65kg Gold and World Number 1 Rank in Rome

Last year, Punia had won gold at this competition by beating Jordan Oliver of the USA in the final.

Updated
Wrestling
2 min read
Bajrang Punia won a second successive Gold Medal in Rome.
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Decorated wrestler Bajrang Punia on Sunday won a second successive gold medal at the Matteo Pallicone ranking series as he defeated Mongolia's Tulga Tumur Ochir 2-2 by criteria in the 65kg freestyle event final.

Returning to the international circuit after a year due to the Covid pandemic, Punia, 27, remained patient and exhibited his defensive dexterity to win the title after securing a two-pointer in the last 30 seconds of the bout.

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Last year, Punia had won gold at this competition by beating Jordan Oliver of the USA in the final.

After the sport returned to action, following the Covid pandemic, Punia had competed in an invitational event and an exhibition match in the USA.

The Haryana wrestler had defeated Joseph Christopher of the USA in the semi-final with a 6-3 margin while his quarterfinal victim was Turkey's Selim Kozan whom he defeated 7-0.

Bajrang was placed second in the rankings before the event and is now on top of the ranking table in the 65kg category with 14 points.

The fresh rankings are based on results of this tournament only. So whoever gets on top of the podium will be ranked number one in the world.

Earlier on Sunday, Rohit lost in the bronze medal when he went down to Turkey's Hamza Alaca 10-12.

Also on Sunday, ace India woman wrestler Vinesh Phogat won her second gold medal in two weeks by storming to the 53kg title.

Vinesh, 26, beat Canada's Diana Weicker 4-0, winning gold without dropping a point throughout the tournament.

This is the Asian Games champion's second gold medal in two weeks, having earlier won the 53kg title in the Outstanding Ukrainian wrestlers and Coaches Memorial tournament in Kiev, Ukraine. The tournament in Kiev was Vinesh's first in over a year.

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