Wrestler Bajrang Punia dominated the men’s freestyle 65kg event to clinch gold at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Friday. Such was Punia’s dominance that he overpowered his opponents with remarkable ease to win all his bouts on technical superiority. In the final bout, the 24-year-old Haryana wrestler did not give an inch to his Welsh opponent Kane Charig and registered an emphatic 10-0 win.
On his way to the finals, he defeated New Zealand’s Brahm Richards in the first bout before beating Nigeria’s Amas Daniel in the quarters and Canada’s Vincent De Marinis in the semifinals. This was Punia’s first gold at the Commonwealth Games after winning silver at the previous Glasgow Games. A 2013 World Championship bronze medallist, Bajrang also won gold medals in the Commonwealth Championship in 2016 and 2017 at Singapore and Brakpan, South Africa respectively.
In the men’s 95kg weight category, Mausam Khatri lost to South Africa’s Martin Erasmus. Khatri looked fatigued in his final bout as he struggled to put points on the board. He eventually lost on technical superiority.
Meanwhile, Pooja Dhanda made a late push in the women’s 57kg final bout against Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye but had to be content with a silver medal, losing 5-7.
Debutant Divya Kakran won bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 68 kg by outplaying Bangladesh’s Sherin Sultana 4-0, a victory by fall.
India has so far won eight medals in wrestling. Sushil Kumar and Rahul Aware gold on Thursday, while Babita Kumari and Kiran won silver and bronze respectively.
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