Wrestling competitions for the Commonwealth Games at the Victoria Park Arena in Coventry were halted on Friday morning because of safety concerns. The Organising Committee of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games has paused the wrestling competitions for some time to carry out some safety and security drills, an official said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media. The official said no evacuation has taken place but spectators were asked to leave so that a big screen installed inside the hall could be repaired.

“The fittings have come loose and if continued that way, there were chances that the screen would have fallen on the spectators. We got the spectators out so that the problem could be fixed. We are also checking other things inside the hall,” said the person claiming to be the venue media officer. The Victoria Park Arena in Coventry had hosted the judo events till a day ago and converted to the wrestling venue for the events that started on Friday morning.

Star Indian wrestler and Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia entered the quarterfinal of the men’s 65 kg category after defeating Lowe Bingham of Nauru in his campaign opener at the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham on Friday. Punia was extremely dominant in his match and scored a 5-0 win in a bout that lasted for one minute and 47 seconds. He scored the win via fall. In the quarterfinal, Punia will take on Jean Guyliane Joris Bandou of Mauritius later today.

Also, Indian wrestler Deepak Punia’s Commonwealth Games 2022 campaign was off to a good start as he defeated Matthew Oxenham of New Zealand in his men’s freestyle 86 kg category match to enter the quarterfinal on Friday. Deepak was at his most dominant in this match which lasted for three minutes and 22 seconds. He crushed his New Zealand opponent by 10-0. Oxenham did not even get a chance to break free from Punia’s grip and walked away from the match without a point.

Rest of the matches scheduled for today:

-Anshu Malik vs TBD – Women’s Freestyle 57 KG

-Sakshi Malik vs TBD – Women’s Freestyle 62 KG

-Divya Kakran vs TBD – Women’s Freestyle 68 KG

-Mohit Grewal vs TBD – Men’s Freestyle 125 KG

Commonwealth Games 2022 started in Birmingham on July 28 and will go on till August 8. 

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