World Championships: Injured Deepak Punia settles for silver after pulling out of 86kg final

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    Deepak Punia was due to face Hassan Yazdani of Iran in the 86Kg Category final on Sunday but had to pull out just hours before the bout due to injury.

    Deepak Punia is a cadet world champion and a junior world champion (United World Wrestling Twitter Photo)

    Deepak Punia is a cadet world champion and a junior world champion (United World Wrestling Twitter Photo)

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Deepak was carrying a thumb and shoulder injury coming into the World Championships
    • Deepak was the only Indian to enter a final bout in this edition
    • Deepak is one of 4 Indian wreslters who secured their 2020 Olympic quotas through this tournament

    India’s hopes of winning a gold medal at the Wrestling World Championships ended on Sunday as Deepak Punia pulled out of his gold-medal bout due to an ankle injury which he sustained during the first bout on Saturday. Deepak was due to face Hassan Yazdani of Iran in the 86kg final.

    Deepak was already carrying a thumb and shoulder injury coming into the World Championships and will now have to settle for the silver medal. He was the only Indian to enter a final bout in this edition of the World Championships.

    Rahul Aware is now the only remaining Indian wrestler in the tournament and will fight for the bronze medal in the 61kg category later on Sunday.

    “The left foot is not taking the load. It’s difficult to fight in this condition. I know it was a big chance to fight against Yazdani but I can’t help it. I am a bit disappointed that I can’t fight for gold but I am happy with my overall performance here. I will work hard and the aim is to win a medal in the Olympics,” Deepak said.

    Deepak Punia is a cadet world champ, a junior world champ and now he will travel to Tokyo for Olympics after qualifying from the World Championships.

    On Saturday, Deepak became the fourth Indian wrestler to secure a berth for the 2020 Olympic Games after reaching the last-four in his weight category.

    Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar had already made the cut for the 2020 Games and bagged bronze medals in their respective weight categories in this edition.

    DEEPAK’S ROAD TO THE FINAL

    Deepak Punia had to beat three wreslters on Saturday to secure an Olympic quota as he defeated Switzerland’s Stefan Reichmuth, Carlos Arturo Izquierdo Mendez of Colombia and Turkmenistan’s Kodirov in the semis, quarters and pre-quarters, respectively.

    Earlier, in his first-round contest, he had staged a remarkable comeback to recover from a 0-5 deficit to win 8-6 against Kazhakstan’s Adilet Davlumbayev.

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