Bajrang Punia swells Worlds tally, Ravi Dahiya grabs first on debut

Nur-Sultan: Shrugging off his controversial semifinal defeat, Bajrang Punia bagged his third World Championship medal while Ravi Dahiya made his debut memorable by grabbing a bronze here on Friday.

Bajrang was already India's only multiple-medallist at the Worlds and he consolidated his record with his narrow 8-7 win over Mongloia's Tulga Tumur Ochir, the under-23 Asian champion.

Bajrang held off a spirited challenge from Ochir who had raced to a 6-0 lead but true to his style, the Indian ruled the second period with a flurry of moves.

He had won a silver medal last year and a bronze in the 2013 edition in Budapest. It was Bajrang's first tournament of the season where he did not make the final though he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in this championships.

"I will never forget what they did to me. I was so heartbroken that I did not even want to fight for bronze today," Bajrang told PTI, referring to his controversial semifinal defeat against home wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov.

"The whole world saw what they did. I had worked so hard for the World Championship gold. I appeal to the UWW to do something about it. "My coaches told me medal is a medal so I agreed to compete in this bout. I am glad I gave India third World medal," he added.

Ravi was up against Reza Ahmadali Atrinagharchi, the reigning Asian champion from Iran, and capped his stunning debut with a 6-3 win in the bronze medal bout.

-By Amanpreet Singh

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