Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Bajrang Punia, spurred on by cries of Bharat Mata ki jai from a boisterous crowd, crushed Canada’s Lachlan McNeil to win 9-2 and defend his Commonwealth Games wrestling gold in the men’s freestyle 65kg at the Coventry Arena on Friday.

India’s Sakshi Malik holds the tricolor after winning against Canada’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez in the final of the Women’s Freestyle Wrestling 62kg category event at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham on August 5, 2022.

India’s Sakshi Malik holds the tricolor after winning against Canada’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez in the final of the Women’s Freestyle Wrestling 62kg category event at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham on August 5, 2022.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Sakshi Malik, who has been battling for relevance for long, defeated Canada’s Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez for her first CWG gold. She has a bronze and silver in her CWG collection.

Lachlan was put on the passivity clock. Bajrang effected a two-point takedown while using explosive strength to strike his opponent off-balance. Pushing the Canadian outside the limits of the mat, Bajrang led 4-0 at the break.

McNeil got his first points with a double leg trap to have Punia face down on the mat. Incidentally, those were the only two points Bajrang lost enroute the final.

Later, Punia, featuring in his third Games, showed his authority by grabbing the Canadian by the leg on two consecutive occasions to walk him out of the mat.

Anshu Malik won the silver medal in the women’s freestyle 57kg as she went down fighting to Nigeria’s Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye.

Anshu tried the underhook against her taller opponent to avoid the Nigerian from getting a leg-hold. Adekuoroye, who displayed an excellent defensive game, got the first two points by tying Anshu’s legs up.

Anshu, who won her first point owing to Adekuoroye’s passivity, only conceded further as her opponent led with a double leg to go round the back.

Anshu finally pocketed two points in the dying moments of the game with a frantic leg grab but that wasn’t enough. A visibly crestfallen Anshu refused to get up from the mat after the bout.

World Wrestling Championships 2019 silver medallist Deepak set up a mouthwatering final clash against Pakistan’s Muhammad Inam in the 86kg category.

Deepak picked up his first point in the semifinal, courtesy Alexander Moore’s passivity.

With neither wrestler looking to commit in the opening moments of the round, Deepak struck, locking his opponent’s leg. Moore, in an effort to do the same, failed to see the round end 3-1 in favour of the Indian.

You are role model for youth: President to wrestler Sakshi Malik

President Droupadi Murmu on Friday applauded wrestler Sakshi Malik for winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and said she is a role model for the youth, especially girls.

Malik won the gold medal in women’s 62 kg category.

“Historic gold medal won by Sakshi Malik in wrestling at #CommonwealthGames. She overcame stiff challenge and made Indians proud. You are a role model for our youth, especially girls. May you go from strength to strength. Heartiest congratulations!,” the President tweeted. 

(With PTI inputs)



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