Tokyo Olympics: Wrestler Deepak Punia loses bronze medal match
- Deepak Punia faced San Marino's Nazem Myles Amine in the bronze medal match
- The Indian competed in the men's freestyle 86kg match
- Deepak Punia is ranked 2 in the world
Indian wrestler Deepak Punia lost the bronze medal to San Marino's Nazem Myles Amine in the dying seconds of the game in the men's freestyle 86kg event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, on Thursday. After losing the match, Deepak Punia stood stunned as he defended a bit too long, allowing his opponent to get an upper hand.
Deepak's defence was superb throughout the bout but the San Marino wrestler grabbed the decisive two-pointer after getting hold of the Indian's right leg and converted it into a take-down in dying moments of the bout.
The 22-year-old Indian, son of a milk peddler in a Haryana village, was leading 2-1 before that take-down but it was not meant to be his day.
The World No 2 started his Summer Games campaign strongly but went down in his semi-final bout to the formidable American David Morris Taylor III.
It was a steep mountain to climb for Deepak, who was up against the American, a 2018 world champion and the reigning Pan-American champion.
It was hardly a contest as Taylor effected one move after another to win by technical superiority in the first period itself.
Deepak could make only one move on the counterattack but the American did not give the Indian any chance to convert that into points.
The 22-year-old Deepak had earlier made the most of an easy draw by getting past Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor, the African championship bronze medallist by technical superiority and then prevailed 6-3 over China's Zushen Lin in the quarterfinal.
The 22-year-old Haryana wrestler has been one of the most promising sportspersons to have come through the ranks in the past few years. Born in the village of Chhara in Haryana's Jhajjar district on May 19, he got into wrestling at the age of four because his father and grandfather both were professional wrestlers.
According to critics, Deepak's primary strength is his standing defence and has been one of his highlights wherein he gets his hands at the opponent's arms and is able to manoeuvre his way to put them down on the mat.
Deepak Punia, currently ranked second in the world, was named the UWW World Junior Freestyle Wrestler of the Year.
To date, he has won a gold and a silver medal at the World Junior Championships, a silver at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in 2019, two bronze medals at the Asian Games, and a Gold at the World Cadet Championships.