Tokyo Olympics: Bajrang Punia loses semi-final bout in 65kg category
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has lost the men's freestyle 65kg category at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after being beaten by Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan in the semis. Bajrang will now battle it out in the bronze medal match. Notably, he will need to win the bronze medal match to hand India their sixth medal at the Tokyo Games. Here's more.
Aliyev started with a victory by points (4-0) over Senegal's Adama Diatta in the opening round. He then earned an impressive 9-1 victory against Kazakhstan's third-seed Daulet Niyazbekov. Meanwhile, Punia survived a big scare in the opening bout against Kyrgystan's Elnazar Ekmataliev as he won on criteria after the scores were tied at 3-3. In the quarters, he beat Iran's Cheka Ghiasi.
Aliyev is a three-time world champion in wrestling and won bronze at the Rio Olympics. However, those successes came in lighter weight categories. All his World Championship gold medals came in the 61kg category while he won the Olympic medal competing in the 57kg category. He has been successful in the 65kg category, winning back-to-back gold medals at European championships in 2018 and 2019.
Earlier Takuto Otoguro reached the men's 65kg freestyle finale after beating ROC's Gadzhimurad Rashidov 3-2. Aliyev will face Otoguro in the finale. Meanwhile, Bajrang will face Rashidov.