Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia reached new heights in his prolific wrestling career on Friday by winning his first Commonwealth Games gold medal in men’s 65 kg freestyle category at Gold Coast. While Bajrang took home the yellow metal home for the first time, Pooja Dandha delivered first silver in women’s 57kg category in the CWG at Gold Coast. Bajrang Punia defeated Wales’ Kane Charig to clinch his first gold in the Commonwealth Games. The India grappler overhauled series of dominating performances in his quest for a debut gold in the ongoing Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast. Bajrang dominated the 65kg category by surpassing his opponents by technical superiority. Technical superiority is given to athletes in wrestling only if they lead their opponent by 10 or more points. 

Pooja was defeated by Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria in the final as one of the most promising prospects in Indian wrestling was forced to settle with silver at Gold Coast. Pooja lost 5-7 to defending champion of Nigeria in a high-voltage final at Gold Coast. Her counterpart Divya Kakran, who competed in women’s 68kg category beat Sherin Sultana of Bangladesh for a third finish. Kakran got the better of her opponent in the closing stages and sealed her win by a pinfall. Dhanda entered the final of the women’s 57 kilogram category for the first time before taking the silver metal home in women’s 57kg category. She defeated Joseph Tiako of Cameroon 11-5 in the semi-finals. Pooja took the lead in the opening minute of the first period with a two-point takedown.

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“Congratulations to Bajrang Punia for winning GOLD in Men’s Freestyle 65 kg Wrestling event at #GC2018,” President of India, Ram Nath Kovind praised Bajrang on Twitter. The Indian President congratulated the Indian women grapplers in similar fashion next. “Congratulations to Pooja Dhanda for winning Silver in Women’s Freestyle 57 kg and to Divya Kakran for bagging Bronze in Women’s Freestyle 68 kg wrestling,” the President of India said in his tweet.  

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