Bajrang Punia defends Matteo Pellicone wrestling crown, takes No 1 rank

Last Updated: Monday, 8 March 2021 (22:50 IST)
Rome: India’s ace wrestler defended his 65kg title at the event after winning his gold medal bout, which also pushed him back to world number one rank.

In the final against Mongolia’s Tulga Tumur Ochir, Bajang was 2-0 down but he turned the game around in the final 30 seconds to level the scores 2-2. Since the last scoring point came from the India he was declared the winner on criteria on Sunday night.
Tokyo-bound Bajrang beat Turkey’s Selim Kozan 7-0 in the quarter-final and American Joseph McKenna 6-3 in the semis. He was placed second in the rankings before the event and is now on top of the ranking table in the 65kg category with 14 points.
The new rankings are based on results of this tournament only. So whoever gets on top of the podium will be ranked number one in the world.
Vishal Kaliramana also added to India’s medal tally after he defeated Kazakh Syrbaz Talgat 5-1 in the bronze match of the 70kg category.
Meanwhile, Narsingh Pancham Yadav, lost his bronze medal match 5-0 to Kazakh Daniyar Kaisanov, a two-time Asian champion and a world’s bronze medallist in the 74 kg.
Earlier, Vinesh Phogat and Sarita Mor had won gold and a silver respectively in the women’s event.
Greco Roman wrestlers Neeraj (63kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg), Naveen (130kg) clinched three bronze medals.
In all, Indian wrestlers bagged seven medals at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event in Rome. (UNI)