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Bajrang clinches Asiad gold, Sushil flops

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JAKARTA, Aug. 19, 2018 (Xinhua) -- Bajrang Punia (C) of India celebrates after winning gold medal of Men's Wrestling Freestyle 65 kg Final against Takatani Daichi of Japan in the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Li He/IANS) by .
Bajrang Punia (C) of India celebrates after winning gold medal of Men\'s Wrestling Freestyle 65 kg Final against Takatani Daichi of Japan in the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta,

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia on Sunday clinched the gold in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category even as veteran Sushil Kumar suffered a shock first-round defeat in the 74-kg category at the 18th Asian Games hereā€¦ reports Asian Lite News

JAKARTA, Aug. 19, 2018 (Xinhua) -- Bajrang Punia (C) of India celebrates after winning gold medal of Men's Wrestling Freestyle 65 kg Final against Takatani Daichi of Japan in the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Li He/IANS) by .
Bajrang Punia (C) of India celebrates after winning gold medal of Men\’s Wrestling Freestyle 65 kg Final against Takatani Daichi of Japan in the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta,

Bajrang defeated Daichi Takatani of Japan 11-8 in the final. It was his second successive gold medal at the Asian Games after his triumph in Incheon 2014 in the 61-kg category. It was also the first gold for India at this year’s Asiad.

Sirojiddin Khasanov of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan’s Sayatbek Okassov took the bronze medals.

However, it was a day to forget for veteran star Sushil Kumar as the double Olympic medallist suffered a shock defeat to Adam Batirov of Bahrain. Sushil seemed sluggish and off-colour right from the start during his rather lacklustre 3-5 defeat to Batirov.

Batirov lost 2-8 to Japan’s Yuhi Fujinami in the quarter-finals which ended Sushil’s chances of entering the repechage round.

The final of the 65-kg category witnessed a tough battle as the Japanese gave a good fight after struggling in the initial stages against Bajrang.

Bajrang raced away to a 6-0 lead within the first couple of minutes before Daichi fought back to take four consecutive points, going into the break.

JAKARTA, Aug. 19, 2018 (Xinhua) -- Bajrang Punia (R) of India wins the gold medal of Men's Wrestling Freestyle 65 kg Final against Takatani Daichi of Japan in the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Li He/IANS) by .
Bajrang Punia (R) of India wins the gold medal of Men\’s Wrestling Freestyle 65 kg Final against Takatani Daichi of Japan in the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta, Indonesia,

The second round saw a tough, see-saw battle. Daichi equalised at 6-6 shortly after the restart. Both wrestlers fought tooth and nail in the final two minutes before the Indian emerged a deserving winner.

Earlier, Bajrang crushed Sirojiddin on technical superiority in his campaign opener.

Bajrang struggled in the early stages as Khasanov opened up a comfortable 3-0 lead. But the Indian staged a strong comeback by notching up six consecutive points to lead 6-3 at he break.

Bajrang completely dominated the second and final round, scoring seven points within two minutes to take a 13-3 lead which saw him being adjudged the winner due to technical superiority.

A wrestler is considered winner by technical superiority when he leads by 10 or more points.

Bajrang thrashed Fayziev Abdulqosim of Tajikistan by technical superiority in the quarter-finals. He had opened up a formidable 9-2 lead in the first round. The Haryana grappler took three points in the opening 30 seconds of the second round to take a decisive 12-2 lead.

Bajrang registered another technical superiority verdict, this time by 10-0 against Batmagnai Batchuluun of Mongolia in the semi-finals.

The other Indian wrestlers faced disappointment in their respective weight categories with Sandeep Tomar (57kg), Pawan Kumar (86kg) and Mausam Khatri (97kg) failing to reach the podium.