Bajrang Punia kicks off World Championships with first match win

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Kazakhstan: World No.1 Bajrang Punia kicked off his campaign with a 9-2 win over Poland’s Krzysztof Bienkowski at the World Championships here on Thursday.

The World No. 1 opened up a 5-0 lead in the first round after Bienkowski challenged a call and it was rejected. The Polish grappler got 2 points immediately after the restart but Bajrang was never to be denied.

The two-time medallist is eyeing his maiden gold at the championship and also looking to seal a berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In the other match, Asian Games bronze medallist Divya Kakran (68kg) went down 0-2 in a completely one-sided opening bout against reigning Olympic and former world champion Sara Dosho of Japan. However, Kakran still has a chance of entering the repechage round if her opponent makes it to the final.

Later in the day, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik will be competing in the 62kg weight category.

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