CWG: Sushil Kumar, Rahul Aware bag gold, Babita Phogat takes silver

Gold Coast (Australia): On the eighth day of the 21st Commonwealth Games, double Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar (74kg) and Rahul Aware bagged gold medals while the country’s defending champion Babita Phogat (53kg) had to do with a silver. Today was the opening day of the wrestling competition.

It took only a minute and 20 seconds for Sushil to beat South Africa’s Johannes Botha and to grab the gold medal third successive time at the Games.

Indian wrestler Rahul Aware won gold in the men’s 57 kilogram category at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) here on Thursday. Aware overpowered Steven Takahashi of Canada 15-7 in the final.

The Indian was dominant right from the start, pulling off three two-points moves in the first round. Although the Canadian showed excellent technical prowess with a four-point move, it was enough to prevent Aware from taking a two-point lead into the break.

The Maharashtra wrestler showed his true class in the second round. He had increased his lead by one point in the initial stages before the Canadian scored three points to reduce the gap.

Aware however, made an ankle hold to execute the classic ‘fitlay’ move which saw rack up eight consecutive points.

That gave him a virtually insurmountable eight-point lead which proved too much for Steven to surmount.

Indian wrestler Babita Kumari took silver in the women’s 53 kilogram category at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) here on Thursday. Babita lost 2-5 to Canada’s Diana Weicker in her last round robin match which put paid to her chances of winning gold.

Weicker won gold while Bose Samuel of Nigeria got the bronze. Although Babita managed to execute a two-point in the second round, the Canadian notched up four more points to wrap up a comfortable win.

Earlier, Babita started off by defeating Bose Samuel of Nigeria in her opening bout. Babita shook off a strong start by the Nigerian to clinch a 3-1 win.

Samuel had taken the early lead but Babita pulled off a two-point move to put her nose ahead. She earned another point with a take down to bolster her lead.

Babita was even more dominant in her next bout, defeating Sri Lanka’s Deepika Dilhani by fall early in the first period.

The Haryana wrestler was too god for Carissa Holland of Australia as well, clinching another victory by fall to enter the final.

Meanwhile, India’s Kiran lost in the semi-finals to crash out of the women’s 76kg competition.

Kiran was no match for Blessing Onyebuchi of Nigeria, conceding a 0-10 deficit in the first round itself to lose by technical superiority. Bouts are awarded on the basis of technical superiority when one wrestler takes a lead of 10 or more points.

Kiran had started her campaign by defeating Danielle Sino Guemde of Cameroon by technical superiority.

She taken a 4-1 lead in the first round before scoring seven consecutive points in the second to wrap up the victory. Kiran will fight Katouskia Pariadhaven of Mauritius for the bronze medal.