Jakarta: Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia clinched the gold medal in the men’s freestyle 65kg category defeating Japanese Daichi Takatani 11-8 in the final of the 18th Asian Games here on Sunday.
It was Bajrang’s second successive gold medal at the Asian Games after his triumph in Incheon 2014 in the 61kg category.
Sirojiddin Khasanov of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan’s Sayatbek Okassov took the bronze medals.
The final witnessed a tough battle as the Japanese gave a good fight after struggling in the initial stages.
Bajrang had raced away to a 6-0 lead within the first couple of minutes before Daichi fought back to take four consecutive points going into the break.
The second round saw a tough, see-saw battle. Daichi equalised at 6-6 shortly after the restart. Both wrestlers fought tooth and nail in the final two minutes before the Indian emerged a deserving winner.
Earlier, Bajrang crushed Sirojiddin on technical superiority in his campaign opener.
Bajrang struggled in the early stages as Khasanov opened up a comfortable 3-0 lead. But the Indian staged a strong comeback by notching up six consecutive points to lead 6-3 at he break.
Bajrang completely dominated the second and final round, scoring seven points within two minutes to take a 13-3 lead which saw him being adjudged the winner due to technical superiority.
A wrestler is considered winner by technical superiority when he leads by 10 or more points.
Bajrang thrashed Fayziev Abdulqosim of Tajikistan by technical superiority in the quarter-finals. He had opened up a formidable 9-2 lead in the first round. The Haryana grappler took three points in the opening 30 seconds of the second round to take a decisive 12-2 lead.
Bajrang registered another technical superiority verdict, this time by 10-0 against Batmagnai Batchuluun of Mongolia in the semi-finals.