Wrestlers Punia, Dhanda grab gold in Bulgaria

Ruse (Bulgaria), March 3  Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia outclassed Jordan Oliver of the US to win gold in the men’s 65 kilogram freestyle category at the Dan Kolov-Nikol Petrov Ranking Series here.

Before Punia’s feat on Saturday night, Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi clinched silver medal in the women’s 65kg category and Pooja Dhanda won gold in the women’s 59kg.

After being 0-3 down, Punia stepped up the gas and won 12 straight points to clinch the gold against his American opponent. “I dedicate this medal to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. He has been an inspiration. Some day I would like to meet and shake his hands,” Punia said after the win.

Facing Henna Johansson of Sweden, Malik was beaten to the gold medal by a 3-8 margin. Besides the silver medal, Malik will also take back some confidence after beating reigning World and European Champion Petra Olli of Finland in the semis.

“The win over World Champion Olli has given me a lot of confidence and will keep me in good stead for the upcoming Asian Championships,” Malik said.

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