Bajrang Punia, India’s Olympic Games bronze medalist, takes time to judge his rival and then quickly decides the course of action. However, when it comes to title defense, he likes to go all out.
On Friday, at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, Bajrang Punia pushed from the word 'go' to score a 9-2 win over Canada’s Lachlan McNeil to retain his 65kg title that he won at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Deepak Punia added to India's delight, as he won gold in the men's 86kg. Another success was Mohit Grewal winning bronze in the men's 125kg category.
In the quarterfinals and semifinal rounds, Punia won his contests without breaking sweat. However, it was a bit different during the gold medal match.
This was on a day when India's Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik also made the country proud by winning a gold in the women's 62 kg category.
He went outright into the attacking mode and shot into a 4-0 lead in the opening three minutes of the six-minute match. He added five more points in the second half of the contest to take the match from McNeil’s grip, who managed to collect two points in the second session.
Punia took it easy in his opening three rounds. He pinned Joris Bandou of Mauritius 8-0 in his first match, while winning his quarterfinals by fall against Lowe Bingham of Nauru. In the semis, he beat George Ramm of England 10-0.
Deepak Punia also wins gold
Deepak Punia followed up Bajrang Punia's success by adding another gold to India’s medal tally. He won his 86kg final against Muhammad Inam of Pakistan 3-0 to capture gold. Deepak relied on his strength and endurance to outplay his more experienced rival from Pakistan.
In his opening match, Deepak beat New Zealand’s Matthew Oxenham 10-0 and defeated Sheku Kassegbama of Sierra Leone 10-0 in the quarterfinals. He scored a 3-1 win over Canada’s Alexander Moore in the semifinals.
In the men’s 125kg category, India’s Mohit Grewal beat Alexios Kaouslidis of Cyprus 10-1 in his first match, but went down to Amarveer Dhesi of Canada 2-12. In the bronze medal match, Grewal pinned Aaron Johnson from Jamaica to get another medal for India.