CWG 2022: Bajrang Punia defends title, Sakshi reverses losing trend to earn first gold CWG: The Tribune India

CWG 2022: Bajrang Punia defends title, Sakshi reverses losing trend to earn first gold CWG: The Tribune India

PTI

Birmingham, 5th August

Bajrang Punia was in a class of its own as he defended his title before Sakshi Malik produced a sensational gold medal when Indian wrestlers took five medals, including three gold, at the Commonwealth Games here on Friday.

Deepak Punia (86kg) also helped boost India’s medal count by winning gold in the men’s freestyle, but birthday party Anshu Malik (57kg) had to settle for a silver medal in her first CWG appearance.

Divya Kakran took a bronze in 68kg, winning the play-off for the medal in just 26 seconds against Tiger Lily of Tonga.

Courtesy of three golds, India moved up to fifth position in the medal count ahead of Scotland. Such was the dominance of Bajrang, bronze medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, in the 65 kg competition that he won three of his four bouts within the first rounds.

The 28-year-old defeated champion Lowe Bingham of Naurau and Jean Guyliane Joris Bandou of Mauritius ‘by falling’ before winning for technical superiority against England’s Geroge Ramm.

Canadian Lachlan Maurice McNeil fought well against Bajrang, but the Indian was far superior in technique and stamina by winning the bout 9-2.

Bajrang has struggled to play freely since last year and his excessive defensive tactics have put a question mark on his ability to extend his dominance in the international arena, but he made his moves uninhibited on Friday.

However, the CWG is not the best platform for judging whether Bajrang has got his mojo back due to the inferior pitch quality.

Sakshi reverses the trend, wins after losing ==========================================

For Sakshi, who has long fought for relevance, it was an ideal opportunity to regain some confidence and used it at the optimum level in the 62kg race by winning his first CWG gold.

He started by blocking home team wrestler Kelsey Barnes and followed that up with a technical superiority win over Berthe Emilienne of Cameroon.

In the final against Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez, Sakshi scored 0-4 after the Canadian scored from a counterattack. Sakshi’s right leg attack went awry when she lost her position, allowing her rival to complete a takedown move.

The U-23 world champion made another take down to go on the break with a 4-0 lead.

Sakshi, who has recently been seen giving in to pressure, this time reversed the trend when she started an attack with her right leg to throw the Canadian onto the mat.

From there he used the power to block Gonzalez, turning the tables on his rival in a sensational way. She had won a bronze in 2018 at the Gold Coast and a silver at the Glasgow 2014 Games.

Deepak Punia takes gold for one point loss ======================================= =========

Deepak Punia (86kg) was calculating in his attacks and finished on top of the podium without losing a single point.

The Chhara village fighter started with a technical superiority win over New Zealander Matthew Clay Oxenham and beat Canadian Alexander Moore 3-1, setting the gold medal bout against Pakistani Muhammad Inam.

The 23-year-old Indian had better stamina and survived the Inam 3-0. His first point was a push out while the second came on the Pakistani’s passivity.

There were no big moves in the bout as Inam had lost strength in the second round. Deepak completed his win with another push out point.

Anshu gets silver for birthday

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Anshu, who has made great strides in her career, reached the women’s 57kg final with similar dominance, but finished second with a silver medal.

Wrestler Nidani, who turned 21 on Friday, won for technical superiority against Australian Irene Symeonidis and Sri Lanka Nethmi Ahinsa Fernando Poruthotage.

It didn’t take Anshu long to measure his opponents. His typical aggression and quality were too hot to be handled by his rivals until the fight for the gold medal.

The World Championship silver medalist, however, could not breach the defense of Nigerian Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye, losing the gold bout 3-7. The Nigerian was strong with her defense and Anshu couldn’t find a way to make the moves of him.

She left the mat with tears in her eyes because it wasn’t the birthday present she wanted to get.

Divya Kakran wins bronze

===================

Divya landed a tough 68kg draw when she found the Tokyo Olympics silver medal and 11-time African champion Blessing Oborududu from Nigeria in her campaign opener.

The first round was worth a final, but Divya was beaten by the formidable Nigerian. The Asian Games bronze medalist won her repechage round against Blandine Nyeh Ngiri in the fall.

Also fighting for the bronze will be Mohit Grewal (125kg), who won against Cypriot Alexios Kaouslidis 10-1 but lost in the semifinals to Canadian Amarveer Dhesi for technical superiority.

It is against Aaron Anthony Johnson of Jamaica.

#CWG 2022

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