Bajrang loses semifinal in controversial manner after qualifying for Tokyo Olympics along with Ravi

Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan), Sep 20 (PTI)

Bajrang Punia lost his semifinal bout against home wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov under controversial circumstances after sealing his Tokyo Olympics quota along with Ravi Dahiya, who made his presence felt in a star-studded field at the World Wrestling Championships, here on Thursday.

Bajrang’s frustrated coach Shako Benitidis kicked the coach’s block in anger after the 65kg bout ended 9-9 following a nerve-wracking six minutes.

Since Niyazbekov was given a bigger throw of four points in the bout, he was declared the winner.
In the fiercely-fought bout, the referee gave ample time to tiring Niyazbekov to catch his breath and he was not given caution at least thrice.

Instead Niyazbekov was awarded four points when it was Bajrang who effected a throw at the edge of the circle.

“I challenged it and they should have given at least two points to Bajrang for that hold,” said coach Benitidis.Several times, Bajrang raised his hands in frustration but to no avail.The last edition silver medallist Indian will now fight for the bronze on Friday.

“It was clear that the mat chairman favoured the home wrestler,” said a coach who did not wish to be named. Ravi, who felled a few stars on his way to the 57kg semifinals, lost 4-6 to reigning world champion Zaur Uguev of Russia and will also fight for the bronze.

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