Birmingham, August 5
Bajrang Punia was a class apart while defending his title before Sakshi Malik produced a sensational gold medal winning effort as India’s wrestlers grabbed six medals, including three gold, at the Commonwealth Games here today. India moved to fifth position in the medal tally ahead of Scotland.
Deepak Punia (86kg) also contributed in swelling India’s medal tally by winning the men’s freestyle gold but birthday girl Anshu Malik (57kg) had to be content with a silver medal in her maiden CWG appearance.
Divya Kakran clinched a bronze in 68kg, winning the medal playoff in just 26 seconds against Tonga’s Tiger Lily. Mohit Grewal won bronze in the men’s 125kg category after beating Jamaica’s Aaron Johnson by fall.
Such was Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang’s dominance in the 65kg competition that he won three of his four bouts inside first rounds.
The 28-year-old defending champion beat Naurau’s Lowe Bingham and Mauritius’ Jean Guyliane Joris Bandou by fall before winning by technical superiority against England’s Geroge Ramm.
Canada’s Lachlan Maurice McNeil fought well against Bajrang but the Indian was far superior in technique and stamina as he won the bout 9-2.
Sakshi beat Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez in the 62kg final by fall. Trailed 0-4, Sakshi initiated a right leg attack to throw the Canadian on the mat. From there she used her power to pin Gonzalez.
Deepak was calculative in his bouts. The wrestler began with a technical superiority win over Matthew Clay Oxenham from New Zealand and beat Canada’s Alexander Moore 3-1, setting up the gold medal bout against Pakistan’s Muhammad Inam. The 23-year-old Indian had better stamina and outlasted Inam 3-0.
Anshu, who has taken rapid strides in her career, had reached final with similar dominance. The 20-year-old won by technical superiority against Australia’s Irene Symeonidis and Sri Lanka’s Nethmi Ahinsa Fernando Poruthotage.
It did not take Anshu much time to measure her opponents. Her trademark aggression was too hot to handle for her rivals. However, the World Championship silver medallist came up short against the experienced Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye in the final, losing 3-7.
The Nigerian, a three-time medallist at the World Championships, won her third consecutive gold medal at the Games.
Divya had got a tough 68kg draw as she found Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Blessing Oborududu from Nigeria in her opener. Divya was outplayed by the formidable Nigerian. However, the Asian Games bronze medallist won her repechage round against Blandine Nyeh Ngiri by fall.
Indians in action
LIVE ON SONY TEN, SONY SIX
Women’s F55-57 shot put final: Poonam Sharma, Sharmila, Santosh 2:50pm
Women’s 10,000m race walk final: Bhawna Jat, Priyanka 3pm
Men’s 3000m steeplechase final: Avinash Sable 4:20pm
Women’s 4x100m relay Rd 1 4:45pm Women’s hammer throw final: Manju Bala 11:30pm
Men’s 5000m final: Avinash Sable 12:40am (sun)
Women’s 45kg-48kg semifinals: Nitu vs Priyanka Dhillon (Canada) 3pm
Men’s 48kg-51kg semifinals: Amit vs Patrick Chinyemba (Zambia) 3:30pm
Women’s 48kg-50kg semifinals:
Nikhat Zareen vs Savannah Alfia Stubley (England) 7pm
Women’s 57kg-60kg semifinals:
Jaismine vs Gemma Paige Richardson (England) 8pm
Men’s 63.5kg-67kg semifinals: Rohit Tokas vs Stephen Zimba (Zambia) 12:30am (sun)
Men’s +92kg semifinals: Sagar vs Ifeanyi Onyekwere (Nigeria) 1:30am (sun)
Men’s semifinals: India vs South Africa 10:30pm
Women’s cricket T20 semifinals: India vs England 3:30pm
Women’s freestyle 53kg Nordic system: Vinesh Phogat vs Samantha Stewart (Canada);
vs Mercy Bolafunoluwa Adekuoroye (Nigeria);
vs Chamodya Keshani Maduravalage Don (Sri Lanka)
Men’s freestyle 74kg Rd of 16:
Naveen vs Ogbonna Emmanuel John (Nigeria)
Women’s freestyle 76kg quarterfinals: Pooja Sihag vs Michelle Montague (New Zealand)
Women’s freestyle 50kg Nordic system: Pooja Gehlot vs Christelle Lemofack Letchidjio (Scotland); vs Rebecca Ndolo Muambo (Cameroon)
Men’s freestyle 57kg quarterfinals: Ravi Kumar vs Suraj Singh (New Zealand)
Men’s freestyle 97kg quarterfinals: Deepak vs Nishan Randhawa (Canada) 3pm onwards
Table tennis and Para Table tennis
Women’s doubles Rd of 16: India vs Mauritius 2pm
Men’s singles Classes 3-5: Bronze medal: Raj Aravindan Alagar vs Isau Ogunkunle (Nigeria) 10:45pm
Women’s singles Classes 3-5: bronze medal: Sonalben Manubhai Patel vs Sue Bailey (England); Gold medal: Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel vs Ifechukwude Christiana Ikpeoyi (Nigeria) 12:15am (Sun)
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