Harpreet Singh fetched the first medal for hosts India on the opening day of the Asian Wrestling Championship when he bagged a Bronze in the Greco-Roman 80kg category.
Harpreet edged out Na Junjie of China 3-2 in the play-off for the bronze medal to win his second consecutive medal at Asian Championships.
Harpreet made an excellent start to the bout and used his superior physical strength to wrest the upper hand early on. The judges made two passivity calls against the Chinese grappler which earned a point for the Indian.
But the scores were soon levelled when the judges appointed a passivity point against the local wrestler.
The Chinese tried to make a strong start to the second period, pushing Harpreet on to the back foot.
But just when it seemed that Na had managed to take the upper hand, the Indian turned the tables with a lightning quick take which earned him two points.
Harpreet dominated proceedings after that and although the Chinese tried hard to make a comeback, the Indian kept him at bay.
Earlier, Harpreet had made a promising start to his campaign with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Maeta Yuya of Japan in the qualification round.
But he ran into trouble in the quarter-finals as he was totally outclassed by the vastly superior technique and speed of Kim Junehyoung of South Korea and succumbed to a 0-8 defeat.
However, Harpreet got a chance to grapple for the bronze when Kim defeated Na 2-1 in the semi-finals to enter he summit clash.
The hosts however, missed out on a medal in the Greco-Roman 75kg category as Gurpreet Singh lost to Yang Bin of China by technical superiority.
Last year, too, he was the only Greco-Roman wrestler to win a medal at the Asian Championships. “It would have been embarrassing if we wouldn’t have won a medal today despite being the hosts. I wasn’t able to rest during the break between the prelim and medal rounds because of the anxiety,” said Harpreet after the match.
In the Greco-Roman 98kg division, India’s Hardeep Singh went down by technical superiority to Yerulan Iskarov of Kazakhstan in the repechage round.