Rome, Jan 19:
Bajrang Punia was far from his fluent best but still claimed gold while Ravi Kumar Dahiya showed sparkling form in his gold-winning effort as the two Indians kicked off the Olympic year in style at the Rome Ranking Series here.
The 25-year-old Bajrang staged a comeback to secure a 4-3 win against USA’s Jordan Michael Oliver in the summit showdown of the 65kg freestyle category on Saturday night.
Ravi, who competed in the 61kg category instead of his regular 57kg, bagged the gold after getting the better of Kazakhstan’s Nurbolat Abdualiyev 12-2 in his final bout late on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old from Sonepat had made the final round after securing impressive wins over Moldova’s Alexaandru Chirtoaca and Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev in the four-wrestler draw.
India, thus, returned with seven medals from the tournament.
Vinesh Phogat and Anhsu Malik winning a gold and a silver respectively in the women’s competition. In Greco-roman, Gurpreet Singh (82kg) won a gold, Sunil Kumar (97kg) a silver while Sajan Bhanwal (77kg) settled for a bronze.
In the quarterfinal, the ace Indian wrestler went past another American Joseph Christopher Mc Kenna 4-2, before getting the better of Vasyl Shuptar of Ukraine 6-4 in the semi-finals.
However, it was curtains for Jitender in the 74kg and world championship silver medallist Deepak Punia in the 86kg category.
Jitender won his first bout against Denys Pavlov of Ukraine 10-1 before going down in the quarterfinals against Turkey’s Soner Demirtas 4-0.
Jitender got a change to fight in the repechage after Demirtas entered the final, but the Indian wasted the opportunity, losing 2-9 to Daniyar Kaisanov of Kazakhstan.
In the 86kg category, Deepak crashed out in the opening round, losing 1-11 to Ethan Adrian Ramos of Puerto Rico.
Satyawart Kadiyan (97kg) and Sumit Malik (125kg) also failed to reach the medal rounds. (PTI)
Rome, Jan 19: