Bajrang Kumar’s entry into the SECC wrestling arena was greeted with bout of praise from the television commentator. The World Championship bronze medallist was due to fight David Tremblay of Canada for the gold medal in the 61 kg category.
The commentator elaborated on Bajrang’s dominating performance all through the earlier rounds, strongly hinting that this bout would end fairly quickly in favor of the Indian. Tremblay, the 26-year-old Canadian, was an also-ran at the London 2012 Olympics and wasn’t given much of a chance. The commentator believed that the Canadian, having missed his weight in the 57kg category, would at best pose a modest challenge to Bajrang.
Tremblay, a graduate in Leisure Science, the science of fun as he called it later. 1.35 minutes after the bout began it was over — 12-1 in the Canadian’s favor. Tremblay caught Bagrang in a swift leg clamp and then dragged him along the mat, Bajrang unable to release himself from the hold and only managed to writhe about.
The Canadian, said later that he did not have an idea that Bajrang was a World Championship medallist – the Canadian press attaché whispering the particular detail in his ear during the course of a television interview. Having entered the 61 kg category only because he weighed in 750 grams heavier on Tuesday, Tremblay’s victory was clinical. “I have never lost a match when I use the leg clamp. Once my opponent is on the floor, its done. I never expected Bajrang to give me such a big opening early on, once I saw what he was doing, I knew I had this medal locked up,” said Tremblay.
While Tuesday had been all about India’s all-conquering domination in wrestling, Wednesday was the opposite. Lalita Sehrawat, lost her gold medal match in the women’s 53-kg category within 35 seconds, Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye whipping the Haryana girl’s legs from under her, before pinning her down with utmost precision.
It only got worse for India. Sakshi Malik, widely tipped to take home the gold in the 58-kg event was hardly given a second to breath as another Nigerian, Aminat Adeniyi, pounced on her almost as soon as the referee put the whistle to his lips. Once again, a mistake allowed Adeniyi to dive for Malik’s legs. A 10-0 victory later, Malik sulked off, shaking her head repeatedly, later saying that she made the mistake of failing to guard her legs properly. It cost her a gold medal.
Perhaps the closest bout was the last one. Satyawart Kadian continued…