Commonwealth Games: Bajrang Poonia claims Gold, Pooja Dhanda bags Silver

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Indian wrestler Bajranj Punia dominated the men’s freestyle 65 kg event on Friday to clinch Gold at the ongoing Commonwealth games taking place in Gold Coast.

In his astounding performance, Punia overpowered his opponent with remarkable ease to win all his bouts on technical superiority.

Moreover, in the final bout, the 24-year-old wrestler did not give an inch to his Welsh opponent Kane Charig to register an emphatic 10-0 win.

In his journey to the finals, he defeated New Zealand’s Brahm Richards in the first bout before beating Nigeria’s Amas Daniel in the quarters and Canada’s Vincent De Marinis in the semifinals.

This was Punia’s first Gold at the Commonwealth Games after winning silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.

A 2013 World Championship bronze medalist, Bajranj also won gold medals in the Commonwealth Championship in 2016 and 2017 at Singapore and Brakpan, South Africa.

In the men’s 95kg weight category, Mausam Khatri lost to South Africa’s Martin Erasmus. Khatri looked fatigued in his final bout as he struggled to put points on the board. He eventually lost on technical superiority.

Among women, Pooja Dhanda made a late push in the 57kg final bout against Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye but had to settle with Silver, losing 5-7. Debutant Divya Kakran won Bronze in the women’s freestyle 68 kg by outplaying Bangladesh’s Sherin Sultana 4-0, a victory by fall.

India has so far won eight medals in wrestling. Among men, Sushil Kumar and Rahul Aware gold on Thursday, while Babita Kumari & Kiran won silver and bronze respectively for women.

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