Otoguro Takuto beats Bajrang Punia at Asian Championships final

Japanese wrestler wins in repeat of 2018 World Championships decider at -65kg.

By ZK Goh

Japan's Otoguro Takuto has seen off Indian rival Bajrung Punia in the -65kg freestyle final at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Delhi.

It was a much-fancied repeat of the 2018 World Championships decider, which Otoguro won 16–9.

That victory in Budapest made him his country's youngest freestyle world champion.

And in what could be a preview for this weight category at Tokyo 2020, Otoguro overwhelmed the home favourite here again, winning 10–2.

To qualify for the final, Bajrang had beaten all three of his opponents by technical fall.

That included an 11–0 win over Dzhamshed Sharifov of Tajikistan, a 12–2 triumph against Abbos Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan, and a 10–0 victory versus Amirhossein Maghsoudi of Iran.

Otoguro had the big obstacle of world silver medallist Daulet Niyazbekov in the quarter-finals, and had to come from behind to triumph 10–3.

His other wins came against Mohammed al Jawad Kareem of Iraq and Nyamdorj Battulga of Mongolia.


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