• Thursday, August 18, 2022

ATHLETICS

CWG 2022: India make a hat-trick of gold as wrestlers have a field day

The golden Indian wrestlers — (L-R) Bajrang Punia (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images), Sakshi Malik (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) and Deepak Punia (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

India saw a gold rush at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday (5) with its wrestlers winning as many as three golds, two bronzes and a silver in different categories of the sporting event.

Deepak Punia completed the hat-trick of golds after won the top medal in the men’s 86 kilogram (kg) freestyle defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad Inam 3-0. He began with a technically superior win over New Zealand’s Matthew Clay and then humbled Sierra Leone’s Sheku Kassegbama and Canada’s Alexander Moore to set up the gold clash with Inam. Moore, along with Australia’s Jayden Lawrence, won bronzes.

Earlier, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik also won gold medals in their respective bouts.

Bajrang Punia successfully defended his Commonwealth Games title by defeating Canada’s Lachlan McNiel in the men’s 65 kilogram (kg) freestyle final. He won the bout 9-2 and those were the only points that he conceded throughout the day to reach the top of the podium. Pakistan’s Inayat Ullah and England’s George Ramm won the bronze medals.

Sakshi Malik, who won a bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016, defeated Canadian Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez in the final of the women’s 62 kg freestyle to clinch the gold. Gonzalez was dominating the match initially as she gained a 0-4 lead in the first period but Malik returned strong to make it 4-4 and won the match via fall. Malik earlier entered the finals by defeating Etane Ngolle of Cameroon by 10-0 on the basis of technical superiority. Esther Omolayo Kolawole of Nigeria and Berthe Emilienne Etane Ngolle of Cameroon won the bronze medals.

Besides the trio, Anshu Malik won silver in the women’s 57 kg event, losing to Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye in the final while  Divya Kakran and Mohit Grewal in the women’s 65 kg freestyle and men’s 125 kg freestyle category, respectively.

India were at the fifth position in the medal tally of the 2022 Commonwealth Games with nine golds, eight silvers and as many bronzes. Australia were at the top with 50 golds, 44 silvers and 46 bronzes.

[With agency inputs]

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