Tokyo Olympics: Bajrang Punia loses to Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev in the Men’s wrestling semi-final

After showing such a good performance in the quarter-final match, Bajrang Punia has lost in the Semifinals to Haji Aliyev 5-12 in the men’s freestyle 65kg category

Bajrang Punia, one of the medal contenders for India has lost in the semifinal match against Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan. The Indian wrestler defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan this morning. Bajrang also defeated Iranian wrestler Ghiasi Cheka in the quarterfinals which helped him to reach the semis. After consecutive victories, Bajrang became the major contender to win the medal for India. But unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

The scoreline 5-12 itself says that it was a high scoring and one-sided game. In the first half of the game, Bajrang was the one who got the first point. However, his opponent bounced back and made two back-to-back moves which gave him 4 points, it made the scoreline 1-4 after 3 minutes. Haji dominated the whole game, and never let Bajrang take the lead after that first point.


Even in the second period of the game, Haji did not give him time to stabilize and kept on attacking. A few minutes after the start of the second half, Haji took a much better lead and it seemed all over for Bajrang.

Fans as well as his father expected gold or silver medal from Punia, but that looks impossible after this defeat. However, Punia can still win a medal, as he will now play on August 7, Saturday in the bronze medal match.