On a day of mixed emotions for Indian wrestling contingent at the World Wrestling Championship in Budapest, India’s best bet Bajrang settled for a silver medal after getting beaten by Japan’s Takuto Otoguro in a closely fought duel with the score line at 9-16.
Bajrang has not only exceeded his bronze medal performance at the Worlds in 2013 but has also opened India’s account at this edition. It was by far the best and the most entertaining bout of the championships.
The Japanese was impressive from the outset and started the attack in the first few seconds and earned his first point in the 13th second by pushing Bajrang out of bounds and within the first 30 seconds he delivered a takedown to the Indian and increased the lead to 5-0. In the next minute Bajrang was looking to find ways to stop the attacks from Takuto, and eventually took him down for 2 points to keep the score card ticking and decrease the deficit at 2-5. Within the next 20 seconds he made another brilliant move to earn 2 more points and brought the score to 4-5.
But just when it was looking Bajrang has made a comeback, the Japanese pounced on an opportunity to push Bajrang out of bounds with a takedown and earned 2 points in the process. There were still 4 minutes left in the bout and the sizeable crowd was witness to one of the most keenly fought battles of the championship. Bajrang was in no mood to surrender and came back with a take- down within the next 30 seconds and brought the match alive at 6-7, and maintained the score at the half time break.
After the resumption the Japanese grappler earned 2 quick points and looked in a bit of discomfort before the doctors came to his rescue. In the meanwhile, Indians asked for a review which was overturned and a point awarded to the Japanese. Takuto had now reached double figures and the scoreboard read 10-6 in his favour. Takuto, though, in discomfort still managed to keep the scorers busy by making 2 successive pushes at Bajrang to make it 12-6.
Bajrang was now left catching up and won 2 points with another takedown in the next 30 seconds to minimize the margin at 12-8. But the Japanese was in no mood to relent and didn’t take the foot off the pedal to accelerate to 16-9 by the end of the bout.
Though Bajrang lost the bout, but the tenacity, agility he displayed was quite unbecoming of an Indian athlete. His training stint with the foreign coach has paid rich dividends and brought him laurels.
Disappointing start by Women wrestlers
Other wrestlers who took on to the mat including 2 women and 2 men wrestlers failed to make their presence felt. In the men’s free style 70 kg & 97kg category, Deepak Rana bowed out in the Round of 16 and Mausam Khatri bowed out in the Round of 32 respectively.
While in Women’s 55 kg category, Seema bowed out by a Technical superirority of 0-11, at the hands of the Mongolian wrestler. In the Women’s 59kg category, Sarita showed some promise and won her first to bouts to reach the quarter finals, but she too succumbed at the quarter final stage against Mongolian opponent. All the wrestlers failed to make it to the repechage round.
About the Author
Suposh Sharma, keenly follows Hockey, Athletics, and other Olympic sports. He also has a penchant for writing humour and is an avid traveller