New Delhi: Following Bajrang Punia’s controversial loss in the semi-finals of the World Wrestling Championships, star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has questioned the umpiring standards at the ongoing event in Nur-Sultan,Kazakhstan.
On Thursday, Punia, World No.1 65 kg freestyle wrestler, lost his semi-final bout against local wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov in a rather controversial manner after securing the quota for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Punia, who lost on the basis of tie-breaker rules after getting locked at 9-9 with his Niyazbekov via criteria point — a four point move, was seen pleading with the mat chairman to take appropriate action against the home wrestler for several fouls — including hitting on face, pulling costume and delaying tactics.
Punia was a victim of multiple fouls as Niyazbekov was warned but to no avail as he trailed 2-9 following a four-point move by Niyazbekov which was reviewed by the Indian grappler.
“Anyone who saw the semi-final bout between Bajrang and Niyazbekov can clearly distinguish between right and wrong. Then why didn’t the umpires sitting there saw that? How could such a mistake take place in a big tournament like World Championships? Kazakhstan didn’t play according to the rules,” tweeted Dutt in Hindi on Thursday.
Former Olympic wrestler and Ultimate Fighting Championship star Ben Askren tweeted: “Daton got screwed! Bajrang got screwed.” Endorsing Dutt’s views, Askren said: “Dutt knows cheating when he sees it.” Apart from Punia, Ravi Kumar Dahiya also lost his semi-final bout 4-6 to Zavur Uguev of Russia in the 57-kg weight category. However, like Punia, he was also able to secure a berth for the Tokyo Olympics.