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CWG 2022: Indian wrestlers produce sheer domination; more medals incoming

Indian wrestlers put on a terrific show in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, more medals are on the way as a result.

Commonwealth Games, CWG 2022: Indian wrestlers produce sheer domination; more medals incoming-ayh
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Birmingham, First Published Aug 5, 2022, 10:07 PM IST

The vast gulf between the class of India's top wrestlers and their rivals was evident. Four, including superstar Bajrang Punia, stormed into the finals without moving a ligament at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 in Birmingham on Friday. Such was Tokyo Olympics 2020 bronze medallist Bajrang's dominance in the 65kg competition that he did not concede a single point en route to the final. The 28-year-old defending champion beat Lowe Bingham of Nauru and Jean Guyliane Joris Bandou of Mauritius 'by fall' before heading to win via technical superiority against Geroge Ramm of England.

Bajrang has been struggling to play freely since last year, and his over-defensive tactics put a question mark over his ability to extend his dominance in the international arena. Still, on Friday, he made his moves without inhibition. However, the CWG is not a good platform to judge if Bajrang has got his charm back because of the nether field quality. He will take on Lachlan Maurice Mcneil of Canada in the gold medal bout.

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Anshu Malik, who has taken quick strides in her career, reached the women's 57kg final with identical sovereignty. The 20-year-old won by technical superiority against Irene Symeonidis of Australia and Nethmi Ahinsa Fernando Poruthotage of Sri Lanka. It did not take Anshu much time to calculate her foes. Her trademark charge and differentia were too hot to handle for any of her rivals. The World Championship silver medallist will now be up against Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye of Nigeria for her maiden CWG gold.

For Sakshi Malik, who has been battling for applicability for a long time, it was a pure chance to get some faith back, and she used it to the optimum level in the 62kg contest. She began by pinning home wrestler Kelsey Barnes and followed that up with a technical superiority success against Berthe Emilienne of Cameroon.

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She did not concede a single point in her couple of bouts and will now clash with Ana Paula Godinez Gonzalez of Canada for her maiden CWG gold. She has bronze and silver in her CWG collection. Also making the gold medal round was Deepak Punia (86kg), who did not look in his chief and brief self, but still succeeded in his bouts without giving a point to his adversaries.

Chhara village wrestler, Punia began with a technical superiority win over Matthew Clay Oxenham of  New Zealand and beat Alexander Moore of Canada 3-1, setting up an exciting gold medal clash against Muhammad Inam of Pakistan. Divya Kakran got a tough draw, as she found Tokyo Olympic silver medallist and 11-time African champion Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria.

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The first round was worth a final though the formidable Nigerian outplayed Divya. By fall, the Asian Games bronze medallist won her repechage round against Blandine Nyeh Ngiri of Nigeria. She will now face Cocker Lemalie Tiger Lily of Tonga in the bronze play-off.

Also fighting for bronze will be Mohit Grewal (125kg), who won against Alexios Kaouslidis of Cyprus 10-1 but lost his semis contest to Amarveer Dhesi of Canada by technical superiority. He will be up against Aaron Anthony Johnson of Jamaica.

(With inputs from PTI)

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