A heartbroken Bajrang Punia has revealed that he felt so wronged by the World Wrestling Championship judges that he didn’t even want to fight for the bronze medal after bowing out of gold medal contention. However, the Indian contingent has reportedly lodged a formal complaint with UWW.
The Indian wrestling ace was up against Kazakhstan's Daulet Niyazbekov in the semi finals when the incident happened. Even after equalling the score at 9-9, Punia was denied the legal point with the Indian wrestling community accusing the judges of favouring the home wrestler. Not only that but it has also been highlighted that Niyazbekov wasn’t cautioned in certain stages despite passive play.
TOI has reported that that Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) sources have confirmed if a formal complaint being lodged concerning the issue with the United World Wrestling (UWW). Punia sounded devastated by the proceedings although he went on to win the bronze medal and seal his Olympic berth.
"I will never forget what they did to me. I was so heartbroken that I did not even want to fight for bronze. The whole world saw what they did. I had worked so hard for the World Championship gold. I appeal to the UWW to do something about it," said Bajrang, reported PTI.
Apart from Punia, Ravi Dahiya has caught eyeballs with his brilliant display at the Worlds. Unlike Punia, who has now won three medals in the tournament, Dahiya was debuting in the global event and didn’t flinch as the junior category 2015 silver medalist saw off Iran’s Reza Ahmadali Atrinagharchi 6-3 in his 57kg category contest.
Both Bajrang and Dahiya would be representing India at the Tokyo Olympics after sealing their places on Thursday as they reached the semis.