Glasgow, Aug 1: Indian wrestlers lived upto their expectations by scooping 13 medals, including five gold, with star grapplers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt leading the charge in yet another spectacular show at the 20th Commonwealth Games. London Olympics silver medallists Sushil (men’s 74kg freestyle) and Yogeshwar Dutt (men’s 65kg) were a class apart as they won gold in their respective weight categories while Amit Kumar (57kg), Vinesh (women’s 48) and Babita Kumari (women’s 55kg) showed the quality of the young brigade in Indian wrestling talent reservoir.
Besides the five gold, India also won six silver and two bronze to run away with 13 medals, the maximum won by any country in the Glasgow Games, though Canada (12 medals) got more gold — seven. The gold count could have been more had not there been a drought on the second day of the wrestling competition when four Indians lost in their respective final bouts.
Indian wrestlers started on a strong note on day one by scooping three gold medals with Sushil leading the charge. Amit Kumar and Vinesh Phogat swelled the Indian gold medal count though Rajeev Tomar had to settle for a bronze in men’s 125kg freestyle. 31-year-old Sushil, India’s only back-to-back Olympic medal winner with a bronze in 2008 Olympics and a silver at 2012 London Games, asserted his class as he won his all four bouts of the day quite comfortably.
In the gold-medal bout against Qamar Abbas of Pakistan, Sushil had an easy outing. Even before one could blink, the contest was over as the Indian pinned down his rival to clinch the gold in a 5-0 victory by fall verdict in a contest which lasted one minute 47 seconds. Sushil was leading 8-0 on technical points when the contest ended.
But, Amit Kumar was the first to begin the golden day as he defeated Ebikweminomo Welson of Nigeria 3-1 in his final bout. The 20-year-old Indian fought a tough battle — two periods of three minute each — but eventually managed to win the gold after he led 6-2 on technical points.