Wrestlers Bajrang Punia (65kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) won gold medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday.
Anshu Malik (57kg) won silver while Divya Kakran (68kg) and Mohit Grewal (125kg) claimed bronze on day one of the wrestling events.
Bajrang Punia romped to a second successive 65kg title dropping only two points in the entire campaign. Anshu then won silver in the women’s 57kg event after she lost to two-time defending champion Odunayo Adekuoroye in the final.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang was in imperious form going into the final notching victory by technical superiority in the semifinal to go with his victories by fall in the round of 16 and quarterfinal.
Canada’s Lachlan McNeil, however, put up a tough fight taking Bajrang the whole distance as he won two points of the Indian. However, Bajrang was just too strong for McNeil and defended the title he won four years ago in Gold Coast.
After a silver in Glasgow 2014 and bronze in 2018, Sakshi Malik (62kg) won a CWG gold medal after she beat Ana Godinez Gonzalez in the final.
Deepak Punia dropped just one point in the entire campaign before defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad Inam in the final to claim gold.
Sakshi Malik trailed 4-0 at the end of the first round after Gonzalez cleverly countered Malik. The Indian stuck by her attacking approach in the second round and ultimately clinched a victory by fall.
In the women’s 57kg event, Anshu fell two points down early in the bout and conceded two more attacking as Adekuoroye led 4-0 at the break.
Anshu came out attacking in the second round and nearly came away with the win as the experienced Nigerian defended too much and conceded four points to Anshu. However, the Indian ran out of time as Adekuoroye completed a hattrick of gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Divya Kakran lost to eventual champion Blessing Oborududu in the women’s 68kg quarterfinal but won in the repechage round before beating Tiger Lily Cocker Lemalie to win bronze.
Mohit Grewal also lost to eventual champion Amarveer Dhesi men’s 125kg semifinal but clinched bronze by beating Jamaica’s Aaron Johnson.