Las Vegas | Indian grappler Bajrang Punia suffered a heartbreak in the bronze medal match in (61kg) category against Vasyl Shuptar of Ukraine on a Judges Verdict after the scores were tied at 6-6 at the World Wrestling Championship here.
The 21-year-old, had earlier thrashed US Reece Humphrey in convincing fashion (6-0) and 2015 European silver medallist Beka Lomtadze of Georgia (13-6) in the repechage round in an authoritative display to set up the bronze medal match against Shuptar.
Bajrang seemed to begin in rather tentative fashion, allowing Shuptar to race into a four point lead at the 1-minute mark. Shuptar’s quick leg-attack seemed to have surprised Bajrang as he conceded quick points. However, the 2013 World Championship bronze medallist soon found his rhythm and a stunning take-down saw him bag six straight points shooting into the lead. Bajrang kept the lead till the last 10 seconds but seemed to lose concentration at the fag end of the bout allowing Shuptar to effect a crucial take-down and tie the scores.
Having led for a majority of the bout, Bajrang was downcast saying a small tactical error had cost him a second World Championship bronze.
It wasn’t really the right time to go on the offensive. I knew I had the lead, I just had to defend for the last minute. However, I thought I saw an opening in the opponent’s defence and I just wanted to kill off the match. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, Bajrang said after the match.
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