Indian wrestlers put on an absolutely terrific show to outclass, outwrestle and outpower their opponents on Day 8 of the Commonwealth Games as Anshu Malik won Silver and Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Deepak Punia brought home gold medals.
Bajrang Punia secured his second consecutive gold medal at the event after defeating Lachlan McNeil of Canada in the final of the men’s freestyle 65 kg category.
Anshu Malik, appearing in her first CWG event, lost the final to Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye of Nigeria in the women’s freestyle 57 kg event.
Sakshi Malik came in next and went up against Canada’s Godinez Gonzalez. She was 4 points down, but took an aggressive route pinned her Canadian counterpart on the mat, won by fall, and secured another gold for India.
Deepak Punia came in last, took on Pakistan’s Inam and defeated him 3-0 in a dominant fashion to win another gold for India. Divya Kakran too won Bronze towards the end of the event as she defeated Cocker Lemalie of Tonga by pinfall.
Road to Finals
Bajrang’s dominance was for everyone to see as he did not concede a single point en route the final.
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.
Bajrang has been struggling to play freely since last year, and his over-defensive tactics put a question mark over his ability to extend his dominance in the international arena but on Friday he made his moves without inhibition.
Anshu Malik, who has taken rapid strides in her career, reached the women’s 57kg 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 and quality was too hot to handle for any of her rivals. For Sakshi Malik, who has been battling for relevance for a long, it was an ideal opportunity to get some confidence back, and she used it to an optimum level in the 62kg contest.
She began by pinning home team wrestler Kelsey Barnes and followed that with a technical superiority win against Cameroon’s Berthe Emilienne. She has bronze and silver in her CWG collection. Also making the gold medal round was Deepak Punia (86kg), who did not look his dominant and quick self but still won his bouts without giving a point to his rivals.
The wrestler from Chhara village 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.
All in all, it was a terrific day for the Indian wrestlers and one that spoke of absolute dominance.