Deepak Punia’s attempt for his first Asian Championships gold medal came to an end in the final of the men’s 86 kg freestyle wrestling event on Sunday in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The 22-year-old Deepak Punia had been in excellent form in the early rounds, dropping only one point on his way to the final.
However, Deepak Punia was unable to overcome Kazakh grappler Azamat Dauletbekov’s powerful defense, which won 6-1.
Viky Chahar won a bronze medal in the 92 kg division, helping India finish with 17 medals – Ravi Kumar Dahiya was the only gold medalist.
Deepak Punia begins the tournament with victory
Deepak Punia began the tournament with a 6-0 victory over Iran’s Mohsen Miryousef Mostafavi Alanjagh, and then defeated Gwanuk Kim of South Korea 5-0.
The silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships, however, was unable to break through Dauletbekov’s defense. The Kazakh was aware of the Indians’ rapid leg assaults and easily neutralized them, even creating a few opportunities for himself on his way to gold with a 6-1 victory.
Punia’s dreams of winning the first gold medal at the continental event, after winning silver last year and two bronze medals in 2019 and 2020, were dashed by the defeat.
Meanwhile, Chahar earned a bronze medal with a 5-3 victory over Ajiniyaz Saparniyazov of Uzbekistan.
Mangal Kadyan came near to claiming the third medal for India on the day but was defeated 4-6 by Kyrgyzstan’s Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov in the 61 kg bronze medal match.
In the 74 kg event, Yash Tunir lost 10-11 to Uzbek wrestler Ikhtiyor Navruzov, and in the 125 kg division, Anirudh Kumar lost 4-8 to Korean Yeihyun Jung.