Wrestler Deepak Punia came agonisingly close to winning a bronze medal on his Olympic debut but conceded a take-down in last 10 seconds of the 86kg play-off against San Marino’s Myles Nazem Amine to miss out on achieving the feat, here on Thursday.
Deepak’s defence was superb throughout the bout but the San Marino wrestler grabbed the decisive two-pointer after getting hold of the Indian’s right leg and converted it into a take-down in dying moments of the bout.
The 22-year-old Indian, son of a milk peddler in a Haryana village, was leading 2-1 before that take-down but it was not meant to be his day.
Deepak made good use of a favourable draw to reach the semifinals but lost to the formidable American David Morris Taylor in the semifinals.
He earlier got past Nigeria’s Ekerekeme Agiomor, the African championship bronze medallist by technical superiority and then prevailed 6-3 over China’s Zushen Lin in the quarterfinal.