It is raining golds for India at the 2022 Birmingham Games. On Day 8 of the tournament, former Asian and Commonwealth Games winner Bajrang Punia established his superiority in the men`s freestyle 65kg division, winning the gold medal by beating Lachlan McNeil of Canada 9-2 in the final on Friday.
Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Punia, who won a gold medal four years ago in Gold Coast, Australia came out with aggressive intentions and did not allow his young Canadian opponent many chances, forcing two takedowns in the first period itself to go 4-0 up.
The Canadian was a bit too defensive in the first period but launched a good attack at the start of the second period to reduce the margin to 2-4. But Punia, a world no 1 in his division, was up to the task and effected two one-leg takedowns to widen the margin again. He got another point when he pushed his opponent out of the bout area with another one-leg hold.
With a few seconds remaining, the 27-year-old Indian wrapped up the bout with another takedown to seal a 9-2 victory and claimed the gold medal in an authoritative manner.
“I am very happy with my performance here. I had come here to win the gold medal and did that. It`s nice to win the gold medal because I am participating in an event of this stature for the first time after coming back from an injury I suffered during the Tokyo Olympics,” Punia said after his victory.
Asked if did he intentionally go into attacking mode from the start, Punia said he had promised his fans to bring back his attacking style of 2017 and this is part of his process to get back to that style.