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Wrestler Bajrang Punia faces crushing defeat at Asian Games semifinals with 8-1 score, was allowed exemption from trials

Netizens commented that 'Politician Bajrang Punia' lost the match. and now 'wrestler Bajrang Punia will play for Bronze Medal'

Iranian Rahman Amouzadkhalili defeated Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia 8-1 in the Asian Games semifinals on Friday in Hangzhou, China. Two-time world champion Bajrang Punia’s preparedness for the competition proved less than ideal as a result of protests against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and controversy concerning his selection in the games.

Despite having two straightforward victories to start the day, Bajrang struggled against the tough Iranian opposition and was unable to advance to the finals. According to the reports, Bajrang easily defeated a Filipino wrestler in his opening match to earn a technical victory.

He then competed against a Bahraini wrestler, whom he easily defeated with a score of 4-0. Rahman Amouzadkhalili, the current Asian champion and the global champion in 2022, was the opponent he faced in the semifinals. The Iranian wrestler defeated Bajrang, gaining the lead right away with a four-pointer, and won the match 8-1 in the end.

Bajrang Punia still has a chance to win a bronze medal after losing in the semifinals because participants of the semifinals can go on to play for third place. Whether Bajrang will secure a medal at the 2018 Asian Games will depend on how well he performs in the bronze medal match.

Netizens sharply commented on Punia’s loss and said that this was ‘Politician Bajrang Punia’ who lost the match. “Wrestler Bajrang Punia will play for Bronze Medal match,” said one of the users.

It is notable that Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia and World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat were exempted from trials for the Asian Games in July this year. The Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) ad-hoc committee granted exemptions to Punia and Phogat from the trials for the men’s freestyle 65 kg and women’s 53 kg categories. This decision was met with stiff opposition from coaches, current and former athletes, and their parents.

The Delhi High Court had dismissed the plea filed by ace wrestlers Antim Panghal and Sujeet Kalkal against the decision. The plea had challenged the exemption granted to wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat which allowed their direct entry into the Asian Games 2023. The duo demanded fair trials however their plea was dismissed by the Court.

Bajrang Punia was part of the Wrestelers group who protested against the WFI head Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. In April 2023, they went to Jantar Mantar and demanded an investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment of female wrestlers by Bharatiya Janta Party MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh during his tenure as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India.

The Delhi Police then filed two FIRs and ten complaints against the politician regarding the case. The FIRs and complaints were registered at Delhi’s Connaught Place police station. The complaints were registered on April 21, and the FIRs were filed on April 28.

According to the FIRs, he was charged with requesting sexual favours. Ten molestation accusations were also brought against him. The claims included specifics about his attempts at inappropriate contact, which comprised of placing his hand over the girls’ chests and moving it to the back, among other things. The first of the two filed FIRs contained the assertions made by the wrestlers, while the second described complaints presented by the parent of a juvenile.

In the meantime, BJP leader refuted all of the charges and stated that he had complete confidence in the country’s legal and judicial systems. One of the relatives of one of the victims also was quoted as saying that the wrestlers were plotting to trap WFI chief for political gains.

It is to be noted that several derogatory slogans were raised in the midst of the wrestler’s protests. It was reported that slogans like ‘Modi Teri Kabar Khudegi’ and also anti-India ‘Azadi’ slogans were raised during the protests.

It is notable that similar slogans were raised by protestors in many protests in the past. Anti-CAA protests, Shaheen Bagh protests, farmers’ protests, and various other protests in JNU are known for these Azadi slogans.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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