Bajrang leads wrestling medal rush at Gold Coast

Wrestlers Pooja Dhanda and Divya Kakran also added to India's tally by winning silver and bronze medals.

File photo of Bajrang Punia during Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi.   -  PTI

Bajrang Punia finds in Yogeshwar Dutt a friend, guide and philosopher.

And the 24-year-old did not let his mentor down as he won the men’s 65kg freestyle wrestling title at the Carrara sports arena here on Friday.

His was a runaway victory and coming as it did on heels of Sushil Kumar's fine showing on Thursday, the joy in the Indian camp knew no bounds.

Commonwealth Games: As it happened

Starting with a fine first-round win over Brahm Richards (New Zealand), Bajrang moved confidently on, nonchalantly disposing of Amas Daniel (Nigeria) and Vincent de Marinis (Canada) through the next two before getting another first-round decision in his favour in the final against Kane Charig (Wales).

Bajrang, in Glasgow 2014, had won the silver medal.

Mausam gains silver

Mausam Khatri, in contrast, stumbled at the final hurdle. He lost rather tamely to Martin Erasmus (South Africa) in the final of the 97kg category. The South African proved to be far superior to the Indian who had defeated Alexios Kaouslidis (Cyprus) and Sosa Tamarau (Nigeria) en route to the gold-medal match.

Read: 15-year-old Anish wins historic shooting gold

In the women’s section, Pooja Dhanda was unlucky to miss out on the gold medal in the 57kg category after a tough fight against Odunayo Adkuoroye (Nigeria). Dhanda was slow to start with and had given away points at will; this was to prove her undoing as the Haryana girl
tried her best to make a comeback.

En route to the final, Pooja overcame Emil Schaefer (Canada), Ana Maceyawa (New Zealand) and Essombi Tiako Joseph (Cameroon) through three successive rounds.

In the 68kg division, Divya Kakran got India a bronze medal as she started her Group B Nordic system with a win over Gaelle Alakame Angzong (Cameroon). She lost out to Danielle Lappage Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria) before qualifying for the bronze-medal match.

Here, she was successful in overturning Sherin Sultana (Bangladesh) in the first round to gain a win by fall.