CWG-2018: Wrestlers Vinesh, Sumit claim gold; Sakshi bags bronze
There was no stopping the gold rush in wrestling as two more were added to the tally by Vinesh Phogat (50kg) and Sumit (125kg) at the Commonwealth Games today. Olympic bronze-medalist Sakshi Malik (62kg) had to be content with bronze while Somveer (86kg) also bagged another bronze. India signed off their CWG wrestling campaign with five gold, three silver, and four bronze medals.
Overall wrestling medal count lesser than 2014 CWG tally
The overall wrestling medal count this time was one less than the medals bagged in the 2014 CWG edition. However, India kept their gold medal count at five, the number they achieved the last time. The weight categories of both Sakshi and Vinesh were competed in a round-robin format as the number of competitors in the draw was less than six.
Sakshi Malik loses to Canadian, Nigerian rivals; settles for bronze
Sakshi went out of the gold medal contention in the first round after losses to Canada's Michelle Fazzari and Nigeria's Aminat Adeniyi following a win over Cameroon's Berthe Ngolle. She gathered herself after the setback to defeat New Zealand's Tayla Ford 6-5 in a close bout to avoid going medal-less. The heartbreak of missing gold, however, left her in tears during the medal ceremony.
I should have won a gold medal: Sakshi Malik
"I am so disappointed, I should have won a gold medal, and I have to settle for a bronze. It will be another four years before I can make this right. I could not get what I expected of myself. I had a bad second bout," Sakshi said. She added, "Next for me is the Asian Games, and I will prepare hard for it."
Vinesh Phogat continued her tremendous comeback to big-ticket wrestling
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Vinesh, who sustained a career-threatening injury during the Rio Olympics, was in complete control of proceedings from her first bout. She ultimately did what her cousin Babita could not do and claimed a second successive gold medal at the Games. She won two of her three bouts on technical superiority, rising to 10-point leads before her rivals could open their accounts.
Sumit Malik bags gold; accused of biting opponent's hand
Sumit Malik, meanwhile, competed in three bouts but didn't have to fight it out in the gold medal bout after his Nigerian rival Sinivie Boltic pulled out citing an injury. Sumit found himself in slight controversy after his second-round rival, Canada's Korey Jarvis, accused him of biting his hand during the bout. Jarvis's hand was heavily-bandaged; he accused Sumit of being responsible for it.
Indian guys poke a lot and they bite: Jarvis
"I don't think it would've made me win, but there was no need to poke me in the eye or bite me. It happens a lot with Indian guys. They poke a lot, and they bite...it's part of the sport," Jarvis said. Sumit, however, denied it.
India's last bout on last day of CWG wrestling
Later, in the last India bout of the day, Somveer ensured it ended on a bright note as he clinched the 86kg category bronze. Somveer rallied from a 1-3 deficit to defeat Canada's Alexander Moore in the play-off bout. Earlier, double Olympic-medalist Sushil Kumar, Rahul Aware, and Bajrang Punia picked up gold medals for India on the first two days of the competition.