Bajrang BAJRANG (IND)

Bajrang Thrills Home Crowd with Comebacks to Make 65kg FS Final at Asian C’ships

NEW DELHI (May 13) - Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) saved his best for last, pulling off two thrilling come-from-behind victories to send the home crowd into a frenzy and advance to the 65kg final as the freestyle competition got underway with four divisions on Day Four of the Asian Senior Championships.

Bajrang knocked off defending champion Meisam NASIRI (IRI) in the quarterfinals, 7-5, rallying from a 3-1 deficit by scoring six straight points late in the second period of the featured match of the morning session.

Bajrang, an 2014 Asian silver medalist at 61kg, pulled another rabbit out of his hat in the semifinals against KIM Kukgwang (PRK), rallying from an 0-2 deficit to win a 3-2 squeaker with a late point.

"It’s not a surprise. He’s a good wrestler and we expect gold from him," said Indian coach Kuldeep SINGH. "His heart is very strong, and he has very good endurance. It is his style, starting slow, slow, and going until the end."

Bajrang will face LEE Seungchul (KOR) in an attempt to win India’s first gold medal of the championships, although Sarita SARITA (IND) could beat him to it in the women’s 58kg final to be held earlier in evening program. The women’s welterweight final will conclude the women’s competition.

While Barjrang was dethroning one defending champion, India’s own gold medalist for the 2016 Asian Championships in Bangkok suffered the opposite fate.

Sandeep TOMAR’s bid for a repeat at 57kg ended when Ulukbek ZHOLDOSHBEKOV (KGZ) scored the winning points in the final seconds of a 6-5 win by yanking in Tomar’s knee off a single-leg attack and sending him to his back. Tomar limped off the mat with an obvious injury. 

ZANDANBUD Zanabazar (MGL)

Zhodolshbekov, a 2016 bronze medalist, lost in the quarterfinals to ZANDANBUD Zanabazar (MGL), who advanced to the final, where he will face Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN). Takahashi was the lone Japanese from among four in the semifinals to make the gold medal match.

At 97kg, Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB) forged a 3-1 win over 2016 silver medalist Magomed MUSAEV (KGZ) in the semifinals. He will take on world junior champion Hossein SHAHBAZIGAZVAR (IRI), the lone Iranian to make the final round. 

Bekzod ABDURAKHMONOV (UZB)

The 74kg final will pit Rio 2016 Olympian Bekzod ABDURAKHMONOV (UZB) against Muslim EVLAEV (KGZ).

In the women’s competition, Katsuki SAKAGAMI (JPN) became the lone Japanese not to advance to a gold medal final, after falling in the semifinals to defending champion Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ). 

Tynybekova will attempt to make it two in a row when she faces local favorite Sarita in the final.

Freestyle

57kg (15 entries)
Gold - Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN) v Zanabazar ZANDANBUD (MGL)  
Bronze - Ulukbek ZHOLDOSHBEKOV (KGZ) v Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ) 
Bronze - Reza ATRINAGHARCHI (IRI) v KIM Sunggwon (KOR)
  
Semifinal - Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN) df. KIM Sunggwon (KOR) by TF, 10-0, 1:49  
Semifinal - Zanabazar ZANDANBUD (MGL) df. Nurislam  SANAYEV (KAZ), 8-0  

65kg (12 entries)
Gold - LEE Seungchul (KOR) v Bajrang BAJRANG (IND)
Bronze - Chamara WEERASINGHEGE (SRI) v Masakazu KAMOI (JPN)
Bronze - Meisam NASIRI (IRI) v KIM Kukgwang (PRK)

Semifinal - LEE Seungchul (KOR) df. Masakazu KAMOI (JPN), 8-2
Semifinal - Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) df. KIM Kukgwang (PRK), 3-2

74kg (12 entries)
Gold - Bekzod ABDURAKHMONOV (UZB) v Muslim EVLAEV (KGZ)
Bronze - Panadurage FERNANDO (SRI) v ZHANG Chongyao (CHN)
Bronze - Bahman TEYMOURI (IRI) v Tsubasa ARAI (JPN)
  
Semifinal - Bekzod ABDURAKHMONOV (UZB) df. ZHANG Chongyao (CHN), by TF, 11-0, 4:12
Semifinal - Muslim EVLAEV (KGZ) df. Tsubasa ARAI (JPN), 6-2

97kg (12 entries)
Gold - Hossein SHAHBAZIGAZVAR (IRI) v Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB)  
Bronze - ULZIISAIKHAN Batzul (MGL) v Magomed MUSAEV (KGZ) 
Bronze -  SEO Minwon (KOR) v Naoya AKAGUMA (JPN)  

Semifinal - Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB) df. Magomed MUSAEV (KGZ), 3-1  
Semifinal - Hossein SHAHBAZIGAZVAR (IRI) df. Naoya AKAGUMA (JPN), 6-2  

Women’s Wrestling

58kg (10 entries)
Gold - Sarita SARITA (IND) v Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ)
Bronze - Asem SEYDAMETOVA (UZB) v DAO Thi Huong (VIE)  
Bronze - Gulshaharat TALASSOVA (KAZ) v Katsuki SAKAGAMI (JPN)

Semifinal - Sarita SARITA (IND) df. DAO Thi Huong (VIE), by TF, 12-0, 5:18  
Semifinal - Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) df. Katsuki SAKAGAMI (JPN) by Fall, 4:33 (6-4)