The ninth day of Commonwealth Games 2018 showed a thrilling performance by the Indian wrestlers in the Gold Coast on Friday. After Sushil Kumar and Rahul Aware wins the gold previously, the trend continues with Bajrang Punia wining gold while Mausam Khatri and Pooja Dhanda settles for the silver each and debutant Divya Kakran won the Bronze medal.
Bajrang Punia grabbed the 17th Gold medal for the country in Men’s freestyle 65Kg and defeated New Zealend’s Brahm Richards in all the four rounds like Sushil Kumar.
He had won a silver at the Glasgow Games, 2014 in the 61Kg category and a World Championship in 2013 by wining a bronze in 60Kg in Budapest. With this, India’s medal tally reaches to 42 till the ninth day of the Commonwelath Games.
The 26-year-old debutant Mausam Khatri at the CWG won against the Cyprus’ Alexos Kaouslidis 12-0 in the semi-finals but lose to Erasmus in the 97Kg freestyle final. He had won a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games but couldn’t make up to the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014 after being tested positive in drug test.
The most promising wrestler of 2014, Pooja Dhanda won the silver medal in the women’s freestyle in 57Kg category after losing from the two-time World Championship medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria.
Pooja said, “Geeta Phogat wrestled in the 58Kg category and then Sakshi Malik won an Olympic bronze in the same weight. It is very difficult to even represent India in this category but there is a lot of responsibility if you do. The commonwealth Games are important, but my target will be 2020 Olympics”.
Leading the path of the senior’s Divya Kakran won the bronze medal at the 68Kg category. She had won the silver medal at the Asian Championship in 2017 and gold medal at the cadet level in 2015. Her father sells langots at various wrestling competitions in India and was a national champion too.
Speaking about her father, she said, “It doesn’t bother me to have my father sell langots when I am competing. I understand the reason I was able to wrestle was because my father did this job. I don’t want him to quit now. It give me a lot of pride . I want him to keep doing this. Perhaps even when I compete in Tokyo”.
On the third day of the wrestling, India is expected to grab more medals with the great wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Somveer and Sumit in action.