GLASGOW (TIP): Like Sushil Kumar the other day, Yogeshwar Dutt wasted no time. Cheered on by the double Olympic medallist, Yogeshwar – an Olympic medallist himself – raced to gold against Canada’s Jevon Balfour in his new weight category, 65kg. The bout lasted less than two minutes and it reaffirmed India’s domination in the wrestling arena at the CWG where two gold medals, one silver and a bronze came its way on Thurs day .
As Yogeshwar leapt over the audience barriers and rushed up the aisle to hug his long-time training partner Sushil, he remarked on the controversy over the selection of some wrestlers picked by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) without a selection trial. “The controversy (over our selection) was uncalled for,” said Yogeshwar, “We showed that we are a good team.
We could have won two gold medals yesterday.” Thursday’s performance followed a disappointing day in office when four Indian wrestlers lost all the four finals on Wednesday. India finished the wrestling event with 13 medals including five gold medals, six silvers and two bronzes, second to Canada’s haul of 6 golds. Though India bettered the Delhi Games haul of 12 medals, lost all the four finals on Wednesday. India finished the wrestling event with 13 medals including five gold medals, six silver sand two bronze, second to Canada’s haul of 6 gold. Though India bettered the Delhi Games haul of 12 medals, Indian wrestlers had won a gold more in 2010.
Earlier, continuing in the now impressive Phogat Family Girls tradition, Babita Rani won the first gold of the day in the women’s 55kg category. Babita, who had won a silver in Delhi 2010 in 51kg, was contesting in her sister Geeta’s event. Last edition’s winner Geeta could not make it to the Games due to injury. Babita did not disappoint anyone by coming up with a clinical performance to win her final against Brittanee Laverduire of Canada. Showing her experience, Babita was in no hurry to finish things off quickly as she grappled patiently to accumulate points.
The 24-year-old was placed comfortably throughout her bout and successfully warded off a late challenge from her 32-year-old rival. Vinesh, a cousin of Geeta and Babita, had also won a gold medal for India on the first day of competition in wrestling. “I am happy that we will be taking back home two gold medals. I was a little apprehensive since we lost all the finals yesterday. I am happy that my gold can offer some consolation,” continued Babita. Geetika Jakhar was the lone Indian to lose her final on Thursday as she was beaten by the faster and slippery Canadian Danielle Lappage 7-0 in the 63kg. Later, Pawan Kumar won a bronze medal beating Muhammad Inam in the 86kg. The scores were tied at 6-6 but as the Indian managed to take the last two points.