Birmingham: Indian wrestlers dominated the opening day of the competitions by clinching three gold medals, at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday.
While Bajrang Punia won gold to defend his title from Gold Coast, Deepak Punia defeated Pakistan’s Muhammad Inam at the Coventry Arena Wrestling Mat B on Friday. Sakshi Malik also won the gold medal in her category.
Deepak took 2-0 lead in the first period and all the pressure was on the Punia’s opponent heading into the last three minutes.
Punia was in good form in this match. In the final three minutes, he managed to hold his own and he kept his opponent at bay to walk away with the gold.
The Pakistani wrestler struggled to find a way through Punia’s strong defence and went home without scoring a point.
Earlier, star Indian wrestler Bajrang clinched gold after winning the final against Canada’s Lachlan Mcneil in men’s 65 kg. Punia was extremely dominant in the first period and did not let his opponent score. He finished with a 4-0 lead over McNeil at the end of the first period.
But McNeil made a comeback with a strong effort and he cut down the deficit by two points to make it 2-4. Punia took the lead once again after scoring two more points.
The Indian did not look back from there and won the match 9-2.
Punia reached the final after defeating George Ramm of England in the semi-final. He defeated his English opponent 10-0. He had reached the semifinal of the men’s freestyle 65 kg category after defeating Jean Guyliane Joris Bandou of Mauritius in the quarterfinal. Bajrang was at his very best in the match as he gained a 6-0 win by fall. The match lasted for just one minute.
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi turned back the clock to register a dominant victory to bag gold medal in the women’s freestyle 65kg bout, beating Canada’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez by fall.
Sakshi, who seemed to have gone off the boil after her success in the Rio Olympics, missing some events and got upstages by younger opponents, made a brilliant comeback both in her bout on Friday and her career as she stomped her authority. Her opponent, who had come to Canada from Mexico at a very young age with her family seeking political asylum, is strong grappler having won medals in World Championships
Anshu Malik had to settle for the silver medal in the women’s 57kg freestyle wrestling after losing to Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye of Nigeria. Anshu, who has taken rapid strides in her career, reached the women’s 57kg final with similar dominance but ended up secondbest with a silver medal.