Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Sep 20: Star Indian wrestler and World no 1 Bajrang Punia clinched bronze medal after defeating Mongolia's Tulga Ochir 8-7 in the bronze medal match (65kg) at Wrestling World Championships, here on Friday.
Keeping aside the disappointment of Thursday's loss, Bajrang displayed his best and won his third World Championship medal. No Indian has ever won more than one medal at the World Championships.
Punia now has three World Championships medals, including podium finishes in successive editions.
The Asian Games gold medallist had won his first World Championships medal - a bronze in 2013. He finished with a silver in 2018 in Budapest.
In an exciting bronze battle, Bajrang was down by 2-6 at the end of the first round, but made a grand comeback in the second round, to make it 8-6 in his favour. The bout ended with scoreline of 8-7, in favour of top seed Bajrang.
Punia also had to bounce back from a controversial semi-final loss on Thursday, as he lost to home wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov, after sealing his Tokyo Olympics quota.
Bajrang's coach Shako Benitidis was frustrated with the result and kicked his block in anger after the 65kg bout ended 9-9, following a nerve-wracking six minutes.
After that, Niyazbekov was given a bigger throw of four points in the bout and was declared the winner.
Following the match, India's star fighter Yogeshwar Dutt had questioned the arbitration standards after Punia's controversial loss in the semifinals.
''Anyone who saw the semi-final bout between Bajrang and Niyazbekov can clearly distinguish between right and wrong. Then why didn't the umpires sitting there saw that? How could such a mistake take place in a big tournament like World Championship? Kazakhstan didn't play according to the rules," tweeted Dutt in Hindi, on Thursday. (UNI)