New Delhi: Star Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik won gold in wrestling at the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham on Friday. Punia defeated Canada’s Laclan McNeil in men’s freestyle 65 kg category in the final. Sakshi Malik defeated Ana Godinez Gonzalez of Canada in women’s 62 kg final.
Deepak Punia also clinched gold in the men’s freestyle 86 kg category, defeating Pakistan wrestler Muhammad Inam. Following the three golds, India moved to fifth position in the medal tally ahead of Scotland.
Wrestler Anshu Malik won silver in Women’s freestyle 57 kg. She lost the final match to Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye and had to settle for the second spot.
Divya Kakran clinched a bronze in 68kg, winning the medal play-off in just 26 seconds against Tonga’s Tiger Lily. Mohit Grewal also won bronze in 125 kg freestyle wrestling.
Extremely dominant in the first period, Bajrang Punia did not let his opponent score, finishing with a 4-0 lead. But McNeil made a comeback with a strong effort and he cut down the deficit by two points to make it 2-4. Punia took the lead once again after scoring two more points. The Indian did not look back from there and won the match 9-2.
Sakshi trailed 0-4 after the Canadian scored on counter-attack. Sakshi’s right leg attack got wrong as she lost position, allowing her rival to complete a take down move. The U-23 World champion effected another take down to go into the break with a 4-0 lead. Sakshi then initiated a right leg attack to throw the Canadian on the mat. From there she used power to pin Gonzalez, turning the table on her rival.
(With PTI, ANI inputs)