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Olympics: Taylor too strong for grappler Punia in SF; Indian to fight for bronze

American grappler David Taylor proved too strong for Deepak Punia as the Indian lost his 86kg category semifinal bout 10-0 at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Punia will now fight for the bronze medal and his opponent will be known later on Thursday after the repechage.

Punia was not match for the American, who used his superior technique and aggressive play to romp home to a 10-0 win on technical superiority and secure a place in the final.

Taylor, a former world champion, was quick in attack and exploited the chinks in Punia’s armour easily to score points at the Makuhari Messe, and even though the Indian tried his best, he was no match for the American.

A gut wrench, followed by a few flips, were enough to snuff out Punia’s challenge of making it to the final here.

Punia will now head into the bronze medal bout where he will face the winner of the repechage match between Myles Amine of San Marino and Belarus’s Ali Shabanau.

Barring the semis loss, Punia enjoyed a quality outing on his debut at the Olympics.

His quarterfinal bout against China’s Lin Zushen was the highlight as Punia pulled off a win under pressure. Staring at an early elimination, the Indian managed a two-point takedown in the final 10 seconds for the win.

Though the Chinese bench challenged the validity of the move, the decision was upheld, handing Punia another point for the failed challenge.

Earlier, The Indian wrestler had begun his debut Olympic campaign with a commanding 12-1 win over Ekerekeme Agiomor of Nigeria in the opening round.

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