Bajrang Punia is currently the only wrestler from the Indian contingent still in action at Tokyo 2020. He will battle for India's second wrestling medal in the bronze medal match of the men’s freestyle 65kg on Saturday, August 7.
Bajrang, who registered confident wins in the pre-quarterfinal against Ernazar Akmataliev and against Morteza Ghiasi Cheka in the quarter-final, was outclassed by Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev with a score of 5-12 in the semi-final bout.
While he grabbed the first point of the bout in the 30 seconds time period, Bajrang had a hard time fending off the Azerbaijani wrestler’s technical moves. Eventually, the Indian grappler lost the first round 4-1.
The second round further exposed Bajrang Punia’s inability to cope with the pressure as Aliyev continuously aimed for the Indian’s leg and ankle to register eight points in the second round.
Following a failed challenge, Bajrang won four points but that wasn’t enough to reduce the deficit and keep his dream for an Olympic gold alive.
The reigning Commonwealth and Asian Games champion of the 65kg category, however, could still return home with a medal as he will now face either Senegal’s Adama Diatta or Kazakhstan's Daulet Niyazbekov in the bronze medal match on Saturday.
As it stands, Niyazbekov is most likely to be Bajrang Punia’s opponent in the bronze medal match at Tokyo 2020.
Where to watch Bajrang Punia’s Olympic bronze medal match live in India?
Bajrang Punia’s Olympic bronze medal match in Tokyo 2020 will be played at 3:15 PM on Saturday, August 7 at the Makuhari Messe Hall A in Tokyo, Japan. The match will be telecast on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 4, or Sony Six and their respective HD TV channels in India.
Live streaming of Bajrang Punia’s Olympic bronze medal match will be available on the Sony Liv app and website.