Bajrang strikes gold, silver each for Khatri, Pooja; Divya bags bronze
Gold Coast: Bajrang Punia, an understudy of Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, was the lone gold medallist for India on the second day of the wrestling competition on Friday.
On the first day of wrestling, India won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze and with Friday's haul of one gold, two silver and one bronze, the total now is three gold, three silver and two bronze. Saturday is the final day for wrestling.
While Bajrang won the gold in men's 65kg category, there were two silver medals, one each from Pooja Dhanda (57kg) and Mausam Khatri (97kg) while Divya Kakran (68kg) settled for a bronze medal.
The 24-year-old Bajrang, who was second at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 61kg, thus improved on that medal with a gold.
Bajrang dominated his weight category, winning all four bouts, including the final by technical superiority gained by taking lead of 10 or more points. His final against Welshman Kane Charig lasted just over a minute during which he scored 10 points against none.
"This gold medal proves the significant improvement in my wrestling career as I won silver at the last Commonwealth Games. I was solid in all four bouts. I was well-prepared for the competition," said Bajrang. "I didn't see the time but I wanted to finish (the final) it as quickly as possible."
On the way to his first major gold medal, Bajrang beat Kiwi Brahm Richards, Nigeria's Amas Daniel, and Canada's Vincent De Marinis.
In the women's 57kg, Pooja had her chances, but was unable to close out against defending champion Odunayo Adekuoroye.
The Indian girl trailed 1-6 in the first period, but despite winning the second 4-1, she lost out 5-7 and with it had to settle for a silver. Pooja admitted: "I lacked in attack and could not take my chances. I would look to change the colour of the medal next time. It was hard luck for me and India." Another silver medal came from Mausam Khatri, who was making his debut at the Games. The former Asian Games bronze-medallist had a smooth passage into the final, before going down to South African Martin Erasmus, who won 12-2.
Earlier, Divya Kakran lost to Nigeria's two-time CWG medallist Blessing Oborududu in the semifinal but recovered quickly to easily get past Bangladesh's Sherin Sultana for a bronze medal in the repachage.