Bajrang Punia becomes World No.1 wrestler, captures gold in Rome

Indian wrestler Bajrang Poonia, who is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, defended his title by winning two points in the last 30 seconds to win the gold medal in the Matio Pelicone Ranking Wrestling Series, which helped him regain the number one ranking in his weight class.

Indian wrestler Bajrang Poonia, who is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, defended his title by winning two points in the last 30 seconds to win the gold medal in the Matio Pelicone Ranking Wrestling Series, which helped him regain the number one ranking in his weight class.

In the 65kg final against Tulga Tumur Ochir of Mongolia, Bajrang was trailing 0–2 until the final moments, but in the last 30 seconds he scored two points to equalize the score. In this match held on Sunday, the Indian wrestler scored the last point and on this basis, he was declared the winner.

Bajrang was second in his weight class rankings before this competition, but by reaching 14 points here, he reached the top. The latest ranking is only based on the result of this tournament and therefore the gold medal winning wrestler is achieving the number one ranking.

Vishal Kaliraman impressed in the non-Olympic class 70 kg. He won the bronze medal by beating Kazakhstan’s Syrbaz Talgat 5-1.

Meanwhile, Narsingh Pancham Yadav, who returned to competitive wrestling after a four-year doping ban, lost to Daniyar Casanov of Kazakhstan in the bronze medal.

India won seven medals in this first ranking series of the year. In the women’s section, Vinesh Phogat won the gold and Sarita More won the silver medal. Greco Roman wrestlers Neeraj (63 kg), Kuldeep Malik (72 kg) and Naveen (130 kg) won bronze medals.