Wrestling: Vinesh, Sumit claim gold; Sakshi settles for bronze

India signed off its wrestling campaign at the Commonwealth Games with five gold, three silver and four bronze medals.

India's Vinesh Phogat celebrates after winning gold medal WFS 50kg wrestling Nordic bout during the Commonwealth Games 2018   -  PTI

It was yet another profitable day for India at the Carrara sports arena on Saturday as its wrestlers came up with a good showing to add two more gold and bronze medals to the country’s tally at the XXI Commonwealth Games.

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The real shock here, despite these good results, was the failure of Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik to hit to the top of the podium. Instead, she finished only third in the women’s 67kg class, the competition of which was gone through the Nordic system.

Sakshi had started with an easy win over Berthe Emillene Etane Ngolle (Cameroon) but was unable to sustain her momentum against both Canadian Michelle Fazzari and Nigerian Aminat Adeniyi through the next two rounds.

However, she won against Tayala Ford (New Zealand) to decide the fate of the bronze medal, but only narrowly on points (6-5).

Vinesh Phogat, all the same, made up for the poor showing of her team-mate as she went strength to strength in the 50kg – Nordic and won her second gold medal at the Games, having won the first four years ago.

The 23-year-old’s triumph came after she defeated Miesinnei Genesis (Nigeria), Rupinder Kaur (Australia) and Jessica MacDonald, almost with effortless ease.

Sumit Malik was lucky as two of his four opponents were injured during the bouts. This allowed him to conserve energy during the tightly packed schedule. Claude Mbianga (Cameroon) was injured in the first round and this was followed by Sumit’s wins against Jarvis Korey (Canada) and Tayab Raza (Pakistan) that ensured him a place in the final.

However, here again, the Indian was not needed to push himself following the injury sustained by Sinivie Boltic (Nigeria) before taking gold.

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Somveer, the other Indian seen in action, finished with a bronze in the men’s 86kg division, after fighting his way past the repechage round to get to the medal match. He had started in rousing fashion chalked out a victory by fall over Kirbati’s Kookoo Taebontangaroa but lost out to Muhammad Tnam (Pakistan) rather tamely.

In the repechage, Somveer again had a win by fall against Jayden Lawrence (Australia) before overcoming Alexander Moore (Canada) for the third place.


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