Last year, Punia had won gold at this competition by beating Jordan Oliver of the USA in the final. After the sport returned to action, Punia had competed in an invitational event and an exhibition match in the USA.
The Haryana wrestler had defeated Joseph Christopher of the USA in the semi-final with a 6-3 margin while his quarterfinal victim was Turkey’s Selim Kozan whom he defeated 7-0. Earlier on Sunday, Rohit lost in the bronze medal when he went down to Turkey`s Hamza Alaca 10-12.
Vinesh returns to No. 1 rank
Living up to the expectations, star Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat grabbed the 53kg gold medal along with world number one rank. It was second gold medal for Vinesh in as many weeks with a dominant win as the 26-year-old World bronze medallist blanked Canada’s Diana Mary Helen Weicker 4-0 in the title clash.
Vinesh scored all her points in the first period and held on to her lead in the second to ensure a top-of-the-podium finish. Vinesh had won a gold medal in Kiev last week and this performance would give her the belief that her preparations for the Tokyo Olympics are on the right track.
The Indian had entered the event as world number three but is back to world number one by jumping 14 points. The Canadian was ranked as low as 40 before the tournament but is now just behind Vinesh at number two.
Vinesh did not concede a single point at this tournament, winning two of her three bouts by pinning her rivals while getting injury walkouts in the other two in the eight-woman field.
Sarita Mor had won a silver in the 57kg on Saturday.
In the 74kg quarterfinal, Narsingh Pancham Yadav began with a comfortable win by technical superiority against Italian Finizio but lost to 2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Ernest Buuroughs in the semifinal. He will also fight for bronze.
(with agency inputs)