At the ongoing U-23 World Championships on Tuesday, Sajan Bhanwala made history by earning India's first-ever medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. He accomplished this achievement by winning the bronze medal in the men's 77 kg division in the current world championships tournament in Spain.
Sajan trailed Dmytro Vasetskyi of Ukraine 4-10 in the bronze medal match, and he appeared to be far from his best. However, the 23-year-old successfully counterattacked and recovered with a huge 4-point move in the last moments of the fight to secure a podium spot with a 10-10 triumph by points.
Sajan had previously defeated Aistis Liaugminas 3-0 in the first round before falling to Moldova's Alexandrin Gutu 0-8 in the pre-quarterfinals. But the Moldovan's advancement to the men's 77kg Greco-Roman final resulted in the repechage system providing the Indian with a lifeline.
In the rematch, he defeated Rassul Zhunis of Kazakhstan with a score of 9-6, and then he made history by being India's first Greco-Roman medalist in the annals of the U23 World Wrestling Championships.
Sajan's victory in the competition comes against the backdrop of the continuing issue in which the Spanish government has refused to provide visas to more than 20 Indian wrestlers, including junior world champion Antim Panghal, to compete in the country's upcoming U23 World Championships.