Hyderabad: One of India's biggest medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics, Bajrang Punia, lost his semi-final against Azerbaijan's Haji Aliyev 5-12 after a grueling bout. Although he's lost the semis, Bajrang Punia is still in contention for a medal as he will now play for bronze on Saturday.

Both wrestlers started the bout in a cautious way, watching and analyzing one another's moves before scoring any point. It was India's Bajrang Punia who got the first point due to Aliyev's over defensive approach.

Aliyev soon started attacking and got a couple of points for a takedown. He first held Bajrang's leg and took him down scoring two. He was quick to make the most out of the mere one-point lead and took Bajrang down again for a couple of points. The lead soon went from 1 to 3 as the scoreboard showed 4-1 in favour of Aliyev.

Aliyev again went for a takedown and successfully did so gaining another couple of points and moving the lead to 6 points. Right when he started rolling Bajrang over for more points, the referee blew the whistle and separated both wrestlers. This was the end of period one and both wrestlers got a break of 30 seconds.

Aliyev then rolled Bajrang for a couple more points to which the latter responded with a takedown and gained 2 points. Aliyev then got a point to which Bajrang responded by scoring 2 with a takedown.

After giving away a few points, Aliyev scored another 2 towards the end of the game. With just 2.8 seconds remaining in the game, Bajrang challenged Aliyev's move to which the umpires ruled the challenge in Aliyev's favour and also added a point which brought the score to 12-5. Bajrang Punia lost the match and his hopes for gold were also over. However, he will now fight for bronze on Saturday.

Newsmeter Network

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